Fortville Officer Matt Fox back on patrol after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in July

Shooter, James Lockhart III, killed by police

FORTVILLE, Ind. - A Fortville police officer is back on patrol just six months after he nearly lost his life following a traffic stop.

Officer Matt Fox calls it a milestone, while others might say it's a miracle.

"It felt good to get back into it… A little nervous," Fox said. "(I've) been out driving around today. It's been a slow day."

Since October, Fox has been on limited desk duty recovering from his wounds that led to three surgeries and a two-week hospital stay.

This day wasn't supposed to come until later this spring, but Fox said he put in a lot of hard work to get back on the road.

"It's good to get back into the swing of things, get back to a regular routine of patrolling, responding to calls and doing the day to day job," he said.

On his first day back, he made one traffic stop, which is exactly how he got to this point.

On July 27, Fox stopped a driver who then sped off, leading to a chase.

Eventually the driver, James Lockhart III, jumped out of his car and opened fire with the intent to kill Fox.

"I was hit in my forehead. I was hit in my left hand, left forearm, right hand and five times in the chest," Fox said.

Six months later, Fox said he's back to 100 percent, a long way from the night he thought he was going to die after being ambushed in his patrol car.

No one would blame Fox if he never put on a uniform again, but it's what he's trained to do and he said he wouldn't have it any other way.

"If it had to come to making the ultimate sacrifice, then so be it," he said. "But you know, we don't want to, we plan not to, but if it happens, that's why we're here -- to protect the community and have safe streets for our children and community."

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