‘It’s definitely been tough’: Officers shot in line of duty share recovery one year later
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It has been a little more than a year since two Richmond Police officers survived a shooting that nearly claimed the life of one of them.
On June 2, 2020, just before 1:30 a.m., Officers Jason Scott, 28, and Rashad Martin, 30, responded to the 800 block of Semmes Avenue to investigate an armed party, according to police.
“During their interaction, one of the males produced a firearm and exchanged gunfire with one of the officers,” a news release said. “It was at this time the two officers were struck, along with the suspect.”
It is an incident both Martin and Scott have not forgotten.
“It was definitely a chaotic moment for both of us,” Martin said.
From the moment of arriving on scene to getting shot, Scott estimates it took roughly 60 seconds.
“Going back and watching the videos, I didn’t even know I ducked behind a tree and came back on the other side,” Scott said.
“Seeing Officer Scott basically eyes open, not breathing, I’ll never forget that moment,” Martin said.
Martin was shot first in the arm and knee, a bullet shattering his femur. Scott said he took bullets to his chest and abdomen, injuries that left him fighting for his life.
“[They] literally threw me in the back of an Explorer and took me to VCU without hesitation,” Scott said.
The recovery has not been easy either.
“It’s definitely been a tough and challenging process,” Martin said. “I honestly thought I’d be OK by now.”
Martin started physical therapy in October but is still in need of another surgery.
“I just didn’t think it would take this long to recover from a gunshot wound to my knee,” Martin said. “I never thought I would need another surgery because I’m young, healthy.”
Meanwhile, Scott is still working to get cleared for PT. He spent more than a month in the hospital after the shooting; undergoing three surgeries that morning and another surgery in November.
“I’m just trying to push forward physically and mentally and do better each day, to get to the next step to work at full capacity,” Scott said.
However, the incredible support these two officers have received is what keeps them going.
Fundraising websites raising tens of thousands of dollars for the officers and their families to put towards treatment.
That does not include the number of letters, emails and other items sent to these men from people in the area and out-of-state.
“I had once, where I remember I woke up, and there was a poster board of kids’ drawings,” Scott said. “I still to this day don’t know what school or what daycare it came from, but just get-well cards and stuff like that.”
“The outpour of support from the community was incredible,” Martin added. “During that summer, when it really seemed like everyone hated law enforcement at the time due to things going on across the country at the time… receiving those messages really made the experience not as bad as it could have been.”
Both of these officers are certainly aware it has been much worse.
“There are so many officers who have been involved in shootings and they don’t ever get the opportunity again to speak because they’re no longer here,” Scott said.
“Despite everything that happened to the both of us, we’re still willing to go out here and do what we signed up to do, which is basically protect the community,” Martin added.
Depending on how recovery goes after his next surgery, Martin hopes to return to patrol in the first quarter of 2022. Scott’s plan is still uncertain as he is focused on his immediate recovery and future physical therapy.
Richmond Police arrested Waseem A. Hackett, 20, in connection to the shooting. A grand jury indicted him in July 2020. He faces two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a felon. A trial date has not been scheduled.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.