FORT WORTH, Texas - The Fort Worth Police Department marked the one-year milestone of Officer Matthew Pearce’s recovery on Wednesday by released never before seen video of the day he nearly died in a shootout.
Officer Pearce had chased the driver, tossed out stop sticks and even jumped a fence trying to catch him. The gunman eventually turned on Officer Pearce and shot him. He was hit by five bullets, damaging his lung, diaphragm, right femur, jaw, liver, spleen and heart.
Matt Pearce said Wednesday was bittersweet for him. He's so thankful to be alive and to have celebrated his thirty-seventh birthday on Monday. But his rehab isn't where he'd like it to be.
The body camera video shown for the first time by the department is something Officer Pearce says he still can't watch.
In the dramatic body camera video, you can see and hear the moment Officer Pearce was shot 5 times by Ed McIver Sr., a wanted felon, during a pursuit.
The video appears in a documentary, released by Fort Worth PD to mark one year since the shooting. Pearce says he tried to radio for help and that's when McIver shot him one final time in the face.
"All the sudden, he pops back up and I see him pop back up and he shoots me and literally, like a movie, it just blows me backwards," Pearce said the in the documentary.
McIver Sr. was shot and killed moments later by other responding officers. Ed McIver Jr., who was with his father during the pursuit, was captured hours later and now faces felony charges of hindering the apprehension of a felon and tampering with evidence.
"I'm happy that I made it to what people have started calling my ‘Alive Day,’” Pearce said.
Pearce spent two months in the hospital and has endured a tough road of physical therapy. FOX 4 caught up with him in December when he was working on the strength in his hand that holds his service weapon.
It may be another six to eight months before Pearce is ready, but his goal has always been to come back to full duty.
"Oh I'm going back,” he said. “Come hell or high water, I'm going back."
In a news conference, Pearce said he may watch the body camera video one day. It's just not something he's ready to do now.
“You remember things very differently than the video remembers them,” he said. “And to go back and hear it all over again, it kind of adds a fourth dimension almost to everything because I can relive it every day in my head."
Pearce has a background in paramedics and knew when he was shot how bad it really was. He credits the quick work from Officer Brandi Kamper and the doctors at JPS for his survival.