Local News

During charity hockey game, wife says Officer Ainsworth is 'doing extremely well'

Posted March 20, 2019 10:26 p.m. EDT

— The wife of Officer Charles Ainsworth, who was critically wounded when he was shot in the neck in January, spoke about her husband for the first time after she dropped the puck at the Battle of the Badges fundraiser on Wednesday night.

Jenny Ainsworth said she was amazed by how much the community cares about police and other first responders, and by the show of support for her husband, who is still recovering in the hospital.

“He’s doing extremely well, given his circumstances and the injuries that he sustained, and it wasn’t just that he was shot, he also suffered strokes,” Jenny Ainsworth said.

Charles Ainsworth on Wednesday night watched via Skype as firefighters and police officers took to the ice for a charity hockey game to help raise funds to aid in his recovery.

In the Battle of the Badges, winning wasn’t the goal. For the family of first responders, the charity hockey game was about scoring donations for one of their own.

“I hope we never have to return the favor for the firefighters, but if we did, I know the police officers would step right up,” retired Raleigh police officer Dennis Poteat said.

Community members also stepped up, making donations as they entered PNC Arena. Proceeds from specially made T-shirts and a raffle also helped raise money for Charles Ainsworth Recovery Fund.

Nancy Weier, the mother of a firefighter who was playing in the game, said families of first responders are one.

“They help people, both firefighters and police officers. They’ve been in my family for a long time and I think it’s just wonderful,” she said.

For people who typically come to PNC Arena to cheer on the Carolina Hurricanes, many said they felt it was important to attend Wednesday night’s fundraiser to give back to first responders.

“This officer goes out every day to keep us safe, and it’s just horrible, what happened to him,” Tammy Luck said.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said that kindness is a comfort to her department and the Ainsworth family.

“It is the epitome of what community kindness looks like,” she said. “We are all still holding very dearly, in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our prayers, the continued recovery of Officer Charles Ainsworth.”

Ainsworth’s family also got a boost from lawmakers on Wednesday.

Although a new bill would help the families of all law enforcement officers hurt in the line of duty, it was Ainsworth’s shooting that prompted Wake County’s clerk of court to seek the legislation.

The bill would allow court clerks statewide to waive court fees for these families if they’re filing for guardianship.

“Though somewhat small in fee amount, and fortunately a rare occurrence, we sponsors believe the gesture would mean so much at a very difficult time and would demonstrate our community’s respect for the sacrifice of injured law enforcement officers like Officer Ainsworth and for their families,” said Rep. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake.