More than a week after he was shot in the line of duty, a Covington police officer continues to make progress.
Police said Wednesday morning that staff at Grady Memorial Hospital took Officer Matt Cooper off a respirator for a few days.
While he “did well,” doctors have placed him back on the respirator as a precaution, Covington police said on Facebook.
“Matt is continuing to fight and his progress, though slow, is impressive,” according to the post. “Officer Cooper still has a very long way to go, so please continue your positive thoughts and prayers. Matt’s condition remains serious.”
Cooper, 34, has been in the hospital since Labor Day, after he was shot pursuing a suspected shoplifter from a Walmart on Industrial Boulevard. He was hit between his eyes, and the bullet traveled down to his carotid artery, clotting his blood and saving his life, AJC.com previously reported.
Cooper was flown to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center in serious condition and moved to Grady the following day.
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A sign supporting wounded Covington police Officer Matt Cooper is displayed outside Grady Memorial Hospital, within view of Cooper's hospital room. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
The officer, an Army veteran and father of two young children, underwent surgery last Wednesday afternoon to relieve pressure on his brain. His recovery has been promising, officers said. At one point, he mouthed “I love you” to his wife, Kristen. He is now communicating by the squeeze of a hand and recently waved at his nurse as she left the room, according to police.
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Kristen Cooper thanked the community and the many law enforcement officers who have reached out to support their family. In a video shown during the police department’s benefit run on Saturday, she said she has “never been more proud to be Matt Cooper's wife and to live in Covington, Ga.”
A benefit run for Officer Cooper, who was shot in the line of duty, was held Saturday.
“Please continue praying, because miracles are happening,” she said. “Matt Cooper, my best friend, my kids' father will be able to return back to our home because of your prayers.”
Since Cooper was wounded, many local fundraising campaigns have been launched to support his family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for out-of-state donors. As of Wednesday, it had raised more than $14,000 of its $40,000 goal.