Winning the fight: Conn. cop thanks fellow-LEOs who brought him to safety
In Manchester, Connecticut, a suspect attempts — and fails — to add names to the Memorial Wall during National Police Week 2011
“I was in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, and I get shot in Manchester.” This was the ironic observation of Officer William Beeler, who gave an impromptu press conference less than 24 hours after being shot. Beeler had his wounded left shoulder in a sling as he assured everyone he was going to be all right, when he said, “I’m a little stiff, but just happy to be home messing with my family.”
Edmanuel Reyes did not care about any of this. He was man off his meds in the midst of a bipolar episode, according to his family. He armed himself and opened fire when the police arrived. Then, he kept on shooting. Beeler went down, hit hard in the shoulder and he was pulled to safety by fellow officers. The call triggered a multi-jurisdictional response, including SWAT resources and personnel.
Reyes rained bullets down on the police shooting directly at their cars and officers if they showed themselves. The area was locked down and neighbors were evacuated. Officers maneuvered into positions cautiously and finally Reyes showed himself to a sniper on the perimeter, who took the shot and Reyes’ rampage was over.
It Could Have Been Worse
Investigators revealed that they had found three weapons, plenty of ammunition, and 75 fired casings on the first floor of the Edmanuel Reyes home.
Negotiators were able to secure the release of Reyes’ wife and two children during the standoff.
In the Hands of “The Guy Next to You”
Many police trainers and writers here at PoliceOne emphasize the need to not only physically survive critical incidents, but also for officers to emotionally survive as well. One needs only look to the Fermi Falcons (The football team coached by Bill Beeler) Facebook Page to conclude Officer Beeler will have plenty of support in the emotional arena as well.
One of his students posted, “When you bleed black and blue (the Fermi Falcons school colors) not even a gunshot wound can keep you down. We love you coach. See you on the sidelines.”
Heal well, Officer Beeler, and to the sniper as well as all the officers at that dangerous scene in Manchester who foiled an attempt by this armed suspect to add multiple police names to the wall in the middle of National Police Week, “Job well done!”
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