Pearson's Family Thanks Community, Department for Support, Calls for Continued Prayers
The wife of injured Springfield Police Officer Aaron Pearson says her husband “has made a lot of gains” since being shot in the head nearly two weeks ago.
Speaking publically for the first time since the incident, Amanda Pearson thanked law enforcement and the community for its outpouring of support and donations. She said her husband is now able to look around and recognize faces.
“He’s making gains that we thought maybe would never happen. And it’s been amazing,” Amanda Pearson said Thursday night from Mercy Hospital in Springfield.
Officer Pearson was shot while attempting to question a man exhibiting suspicious behavior near the corner of Chestnut and Glenstone.
Amanda Pearson’s doorbell rang at 2 a.m. on January 26; a ring she initially thought to be a burglar, and then perhaps her husband visiting during his overnight shift.
“Since I saw that it was a police officer I knew that it was okay to answer the door. And I answered the door and there were three officers standing on the porch, asking if they could come in. And then my nightmare begins.”
Officer Pearson’s injury came just shy of his 3-year anniversary with the Springfield Police Department. His career as a police officer is over. His medical expenses and salary are currently covered by the city’s worker’s compensation plan.
On Thursday, his 8-month-old daughter and 3-year-old son were able to see their father for the first time since the incident, a visit their mother said “went really well.”
Amanda Pearson was joined by her father, Tom Dempsey, a former sergeant with the Springfield Police Department, at Thursday’s press conference. She’s been a part of the police family for years.
“You have your doubts and your worries as a wife. But I never thought anything like this would happen,” she said.
Pearson said the next step for her husband is to enter rehab, but is unclear when or where that may take place. The full potential of her husband’s recovery, she says, is not yet known.
“Aaron’s still waking up and showing us things every day. We have no idea what is in there and what his full potential is at this time.”
She asked for continued prayers, and said the family is taking it “day-by-day.”
She described a “brotherhood” amongst the city’s police officers, which has been present at Mercy since their colleague was hospitalized. It’s helped both law enforcement officials and the family grieve, Amanda Pearson said.
“Knowing that they are behind Aaron 100 percent and they are praying for him to recover and helping us out helps us, and just knowing that they are here for him helps them.”
Dempsey, Pearson’s father, said he has full confidence in the Springfield Police Department and Greene County Prosecutor’s office to investigate the case, and “they have our support.”
32-year-old Joshua Hagood is being held without bond in the Greene County Jail. He’s charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Numerous organizations and businesses have held or are planning fundraisers to assist Office Aaron Pearson. Many of those events can be found here.
Dempsey said the family is “truly touched” by those efforts, and Amanda Pearson notes that to say there’s been “an outpouring of support feels understated.”
“We will never be able to thank everyone personally, and that’s why we wanted to be here to let you know we see you. Thank you.”
KSMU's Julie Greene contributed to this report.