Ten months after being shot in the head while responding to a call of a suspicious person, Waseca police officer Arik Matson will be returning home and there are big plans to welcome him back.
Matson will be returning home to Waseca Oct. 19 and the city's police department is encouraging people to line the sidewalks of Hwy. 13 all the way from the Waseca High School to the public safety building to welcome Matson home. He is expected to arrive in town around noon Monday, and he'll be guided by an escort featuring emergency vehicles.
Matson, a husband and father of two girls, was treated at hospitals in Minnesota and has been rehabbing at a location in Nebraska for months since being shot by Tyler Janovsky while responding to a call of a suspicious person with a flashlight in the back yard of a residence in the 900 block of 4th Ave. SE. in Waseca on Jan. 6.
"The day we have hoped for is finally almost here. Arik will soon be home with his family, his law enforcement family and his friends. We have missed him tremendously and will continue to support him as he recovers from his injuries," said Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought.
"We would like to acknowledge and express our deepest gratitude to the first responders, doctors and nurses who saved his life. We also would like to thank the numerous retired and current law enforcement officers who watched over him at various facilities and the essential workers who provided outstanding care to him during his healing journey.
"Lastly, thank you to the countless number of people throughout Minnesota and the United States who have sent their well wishes to Arik and to us. Your support will never be forgotten."
As well as being a police officer and a SWAT team member, Matson is a Freeborn volunteer firefighter, a Freeborn City Council member, and a representative of the DARE program, teaching 5th-graders about resisting drugs and violence.