As KC officer recovers from shooting, retired Independence officer reflects on similar story

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s encouraging news regarding a Kansas City police officer who was shot on July 2.

The Kansas City Police Department said that officer, whose name has not been released, has returned home to Kansas City from a rehabilitation hospital in the Denver, Colorado, area.

The officer was shot in the head while responding to a call for help outside the McDonald’s location at 31st and Van Brunt. Police reports show that officer was hit by a bullet that ricocheted before striking the officer.

Police sources said the officer had been a patient for 77 days at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a healing center known for helping patients with severe brain and spinal injuries. The officer’s family has requested privacy.

Tom Wagstaff, a retired Independence police officer, said this KCPD officer’s story sounded familiar. Wagstaff had served 15 years as an IPD officer when he was shot in the head while working a burglary call in March 2017.

Since then, the 45-year-old has used a wheelchair to get around. His wife, Stacy Wagstaff, said Tom goes to rehab three times per week, working to strengthen his legs so he can stand again.

“I remember what happened with me, and I felt sorry and bad for him,” Tom Wagstaff told FOX4. “I feel bad for anything that happens to any first responders, but something like this hit really close to home.”

“They’ve been in our prayers every day, every night and thoughts just because we know what they’re going through. We know the struggles and the troubles,” Stacy Wagstaff said.

The Wagstaffs said they’re hopeful to befriend this Kansas City officer and provide a source of support during his recovery.

Tom Wagstaff said he’d still be on the job if not for his shooting. He said it’s difficult for first responders to accept help from others, but he’s hopeful this recovering officer will.

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