‘I’m Overwhelmed, Thank You’: Gary Police Officer Shot 45 Times Receives Cards, Gifts, Letters From Local Students

CHICAGO (CBS) — He is the Gary cop who was shot 45 times last month after a traffic stop.

A coworker’s makeshift tourniquet saved his life.

On Wednesday, while Sergeant William Fazekas healed, some of Gary’s youngest had the chance to meet the newly minted local hero and bridge the often growing gulf between the police and the community they serve.

Chris Tye of CBS 2 was there.

A gloomy Gary day brightened up. On, of all places, the police.

‘Thank you. I don’t know what to say. I am overwhelmed. Thank you.’

Gary teachers hugs. Cards, hundreds, from Gary students. There were letters, photos, messages of love and support. A seal of approval for a hero who received a proclamation for his actions 50 days ago.

on February 7Gary Police Sergeant William Fezekas was responding to a car accident.

A gunman fired two guns at Sgt. William Fazekas 45 times as he lay in the front seat of his cruiser to stay alive.
He was hit once. He was pouring blood and got up, looked at the fire, fired back and terrified the gunman who ran away to an empty house.
Ending the eruption in a community.

A community that many of these young people call home, who had their streets closed and helicopters in the air that day.
Today they had questions, including whether he was scared when he was shot.

“Actually I wasn’t. It’s called adrenaline. I was still fighting for my life. I had to do something,” Fezekas said. “I couldn’t just stay there and say, ‘I’m quitting.’ I hope they leave with: Police officers are people as they are.”

Adding humanity to how young people see the police in Gary. It’s arguably the most enduring byproduct of that incident 50 days ago.

“We’re not against you. We’re here to help you. That’s what I hope they leave with today. Did it make contact? Oh, it made contact,” Fezekas said.

The suspected gunman, who was found in an abandoned house not long after the shooting, is charged with attempted murder. He was released on bail last month and is on probation for November.

Fazekas is doing quite well with his recovery. He has physical therapy three days a week and is expected to make a full recovery.

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