North Texas officers to be honored in Washington, D.C.

A Fort Worth police officer who is still recovering from a 2016 shootout is heading to the White House.

As Officer Matt Pearce is recognized for his bravery, the fallen Dallas officers killed in last July's ambush attack will be honored in D.C. for their sacrifice.

A year ago, Pearce left the hospital as a survivor who was shot five times after a car chase. This week, he's headed to Washington for the National Top Cop Awards.

Pearce was shot as he went after a fugitive father and son who fled into a wooded area. Sgt. Cory Luttmer was 97 yards away with a handgun. He shot and killed the man who shot Pearce.

“It doesn’t matter who good you shoot on the range. It matters who good you shoot when it matters,” he said. “And that shot that Sgt. Luttmer put on the bad guy is an amazing feat. To say that bullet wasn’t God-guided, to duplicate that shot in those circumstances, it would be not impossible but very, very unlikely.”

Tactical Medical Officer Brandi Kamper helped save Pearce's life. Kamper and Luttmer are also receiving awards.

"Things just seem to be getting worse and more and more dangerous," Pearce said.

The dangers of the job have never been more apparent than on July 7, the night five police officers were murdered in Dallas.

And just as Matt Pearce is being honored for heroism, the fallen Dallas officers will be honored in Washington for their sacrifice at the national police memorial ceremony.

Rick Zamarripa will be there. His son, Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa, was among those killed.

"He served three tours in Iraq,” Rick said. “He loved this country, and he loved being a police officer."

Rick said he's found that being among other families who understand his loss is a comfort.

"It's a 24-7 nightmare I'm going through right now,” he said.

Pearce says no one fights this battle by themselves and that National Police Week in Washington brings together police families who share the pain of sacrifice and injury.

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