Sioux City officer survives bullet to head, goes back to work

    11:45 AM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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    SIOUX CITY, IA (CNN/KTIV) -- An Iowa police officer apparently cheats death. Kevin McCormick was shot in the head during a traffic stop last month. Not only did he survive the incident, he's expecting to be back on the streets within the next few days.

    McCormick says, "There were a few clues I had that maybe there was something different about this particular stop."

    About a half-hour into his shift, McCormick tried to pull over a car on the west side. He says the car circled the block before it finally stopped. He says, "As I'm putting the car into park and cracking the door, he got out of the vehicle, turned to me. Within no time at all, started getting some gunfire."

    Seven bullets went through the patrol car's windshield. McCormick says he zeroed in on the weapon and radioed in. He says, "I put the vehicle in reverse and ducked down to my left."

    McCormick made it out of the alley, but he lost track of the suspect. He says, "I still had the confidence that if this guy jumped out of the car or I spotted him somewhere and he still had this weapon in his hand, that there was going to be a gun battle."

    A witness pulled up and told the officer that the suspect had run toward Everett School. He stayed in constant communication with dispatch. McCormick says, "Naturally you want to stay in the fight."

    But his sergeant gave him other orders. He says, "I need to stop, and that I was out of this fight, and despite how I was feeling, they didn't want me to continue."

    When the ambulance came, McCormick's thoughts quickly turned to his wife Jessica and ten-month old daughter Wrenn.

    Jessica says she didn't believe her husband, when he told her he'd be ok. McCormick says, "I said, 'Babe this isn't a joke, first of all this isn't a joke. I've been shot in the head. I'm ok, though."

    She was relieved when she met him up at the hospital. Just six stitches above the eye, it could have been a career-ending injury. McCormick says, "You don't equate being shot in the head and living to talk about it."

    McCormick says he's not only grateful to be alive, he's also thankful for the outpouring of support and well wishes he's received from people across the country, and especially from his police force family. McCormick says, "These guys aren't messing around when it comes time to taking care of one of their own."

    McCormick says the first couple of nights were hard to sleep through, not because of the pain, but because he was worried about who the next victim would be. He says, "If he's willing to shoot at police officers, he's probably willing to shoot anybody."

    But, now that dean's been caught he says he and all of Sioux City, can rest easy. He says, "The public should definitely feel extremely safe in Sioux City."

    And it can only get safer when this officer, who many now consider a hero, returns to the streets. He says, "I love this job. I love coming in and doing what I do every day."

    McCormick is scheduled to return to work next week, but says he may go back as early as Tuesday.

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