Wounded Covington officer ‘doing well’ after surgery

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Channel 2's Rikki Klaus reports.

A Covington police officer who has been in hospitals since being shot in the line of duty is recovering from surgery, officials said.

The surgery Wednesday for Matt Cooper was to relieve pressure from swelling on the brain that was caused by the shooting, Covington police said in a Facebook post.

“Matt is currently out of surgery and recovering,” officials said in the post. “According to his doctors, the surgery went well and Matt is doing well also.”

A 34-year-old married father of two young children, Cooper was shot Monday while responding to a shoplifting call at a Walmart on Industrial Boulevard. Channel 2 Action News reported Cooper was hit between his eyes, and the bullet traveled down to his carotid artery, clotting his blood and saving his life.

He was flown to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center in serious condition and moved to Grady Memorial Hospital on Tuesday.

The hospital is conducting a CT Scan on Cooper every four to six hours, according to an earlier post. The bullet is lodged against his carotid artery.

A CT Scan is a procedure that allows doctors to look inside a patient’s body, using a combination of a computer and X-rays.

He hadn’t undergone surgery previously because doctors were trying to figure out the safest way to remove the bullet, Channel 2 reported.

Among the people offering support for Cooper is Alex Maddox, widow of slain Locust Grove police Officer Chase Maddox. The 26-year-old officer was shot and killed in February while helping two Henry County deputies serve an arrest warrant.

“I haven’t prayed this hard in a very long time,” she said in a Facebook post. “I am praying for Officer Matt Cooper. I am praying for his children. I am praying for his wife.”

She asked others to do the same.

“Show his family how much this community backs them and supports them just as you have done for us,” Maddox said. “Pray he will be able to go home and hold his wife and children.”

MORE: 'Prayers are working': Wounded Covington officer mouths 'I love you' to wife

The police department is asking participants in Saturday’s 35th Annual Fuzz Run to wear blue “to show your support for ... Cooper.”

Covington police Chief Stacey Cotton said at a news conference Tuesday that he appreciated the support from the community and other law enforcement agencies.

“Right now,” he said, “our concern is to get Matt well.”