Local News

Durham officer: Being shot is part of job

Posted October 27, 2009 5:07 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2009 5:31 a.m. EDT

— A Durham police officer says he is eager to get back to active duty after being seriously wounded by gunfire this summer.

"For me, it's just part of the job. It's something that could happen," said Damon Youmans, who on July 2 was responding to a call about a break-in at South Square Townhomes when was shot in the abdomen beneath his bulletproof vest.

"You recover," the 32-year-old added. "You stay focused mentally, and you get back on your horse, and you continue riding."

Youmans returned to work last week at the Durham Police Department and is on administrative duty while he continues to undergo physical therapy.

Doctors at Duke University Hospital used 60 units of blood during emergency surgery. More than 70 people donated blood, including police officers, sheriff's deputies and emergency communications workers.

Emergency Chaplains, which ministers to first responders, raised more than $3,800 to help pay for Youmans' medical bills.

"I think the support is part of the reason I am up and about and recovering so well and so quickly – because of all the prayers from the citizens and the community," Youmans said.

Youmans joined the Durham police force in early June after working with the New York Police Department for two years.

Police charged Thomas Rashawn Monroe, 23, with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.

Chief Jose Lopez said Youmans was with a training officer at the time of the shooting and that both officers followed protocol. Neither fired a shot, he said.