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Lillington Police Officer Back on the Beat

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LILLINGTON — A Lillington police officer shot during a robbery attempt eight months ago is back on the job.

"This job, you can't take it for granted. Anything can happen at anytime," says Officer Cedric McLeod.

McLeod knows this better than anyone. OnFebruary 8, McLeod was off-duty when he was caught in the middle of a robbery attempt at a Lillington convenience store.

He was shot several times and still has a bullet lodged in his lung.

"I do have an appreciation for life. I thank the good Lord every day that I'm here," he says.

Initially, McLeod did not want to wear the badge again.

"My parents were very hesitant about me coming back, but I believe they will eventually see that this is what I really want to do," says McLeod.

The Pantry convenience store where McLeod was shot is on his beat again.

"I've been back there twice since the incident happened, and it just brings back memories of what took place, and how I could have lost my life in the Pantry," he says.

McLeod's co-workers and hisnew chiefare glad to have him back.

"He's real anxious," says Lillington Police Chief Tim Hayworth. "He's stopped in the police department several times since he's been out just answering phones and hanging out at the police department. So he's anxious to get back, and we need the personnel, so we were happy to have him back."

McLeod will go through four weeks of training before he goes solo. Five men have been charged in the shooting; they have yet to go on trial.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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