Trooper back on the job a year after shooting
Posted February 7, 2014
Durham, N.C. — A Durham state trooper returned to work this week after being shot at a traffic stop nearly a year ago.
Trooper Michael Potts, who was shot four times by driver Mikel Edward Brady II last February, said he’s ready to return to the road and blessed to be alive. He hopes to return to patrol next month and be back to full duty by mid-March. Friday marked his second day back on the job.
“I feel good, and I am very blessed,” said the 12-year Highway Patrol veteran and father of three. “I’m not a lucky man, I’m a blessed man.”
Brady pleaded guilty to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and assault on a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced last month to a maximum of 24 years in prison and is due in court next week for additional sentencing related to the case, facing up to 40 years for felony charges.
Potts said he’s pleased with how the case was handled.
“The Durham DA’s office did a great job,” he said. “I’m very happy with the way everything turned out.”
After suffering wounds to the face, shoulder and both hands that left him unable to close one eye for six months, Potts said he has made a full recovery, except for a few numb spots.
“Physically, I’m 99.9 percent,” he said.
But some reminders of the shooting stay with him -- one bullet lingers in his skull, and the experience is hard to forget.
“The mental part of it … it’s something that’s going to be with me forever,” he said. “Every day that I go to work and every day that I head home, it’s always going to be in my mind somewhere.”
Potts said community and family support has helped him heal – he received cards of support from across the nation, from as far as Wyoming.
“The only bad thing that came out of this is that I was shot,” he said. “Being able to open those cards and reach each and every one of them – it shows that people do appreciate you. They don’t know me and I don’t know them, but their thoughts and prayers, to take time out of their day to go buy a card and even send it, meant a lot to me and my family.”
Despite the incident, he maintains a positive attitude.
“This was a setback,” he said. “This was a speed bump for me, but I’m going over the speed bumps and moving forward.”