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Waseca police officer Arik Matson takes first unassisted steps since shooting

It's been more than four months since Officer Matson was shot in the head.
Arik Matson

Arik Matson with his daughters. 

It's been more than four months since Arik Matson was shot in the head while responding to a call for Waseca Police Department and the 32-year-old officer, husband and father of two girls continues to make strides in his recovery. 

Matson, just last week, "took his first steps without any assistance," his sister-in-law announced Thursday on his CaringBridge page. 

"He's walking longer distances with less assistance - still using various types of walkers - but his therapists are incredibly proud of the progress he's making!" Nicole Matson wrote. "Last week he took his first steps without any assistance (about 10 total) and this morning he worked on going up and down stairs for the first time!"

Unfortunately, Matson hasn't been allowed to see his family face-to-face because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

"Staying busy throughout the day with different activities that he enjoys has certainly helped passed some of the alone time he's experienced during the COVID-19 situation," the update reads. 

Matson has been passing time with CrossFit, weight training, basketball, fishing, baking cookies and making arts and crafts gifts for his daughters, who are ages 7 and 5, respectively. 

He also recently received another care package from the Minnesota Vikings. 

Matson was shot by a 37-year-old Tyler Janovsky as he was 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. 

Janovsky has been charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder. He's jailed on $3 million bail with his next court appearance schedule for May 20. 

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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.

A GoFundMe for his family has raised more than $200,000. You can donate here

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