WASECA, Minn. — A Waseca police officer who was shot in the line of duty earlier this year said he wouldn't do anything differently.
Arik Matson made the statements Friday in a Waseca County courtroom, during a sentencing hearing for the man who shot him. Tyler Janovsky was sentenced to 35 years in prison, under the terms of a plea deal reached in July.
Matson appeared at the hearing just weeks after returning home from an extended period of physical therapy at an out-of-state facility. Matson was wearing his badge and helped to the courtroom's podium by his wife, Megan.
"I would still respond to that call if it was tomorrow," Matson told the court. "I have gratitude for being here today with everyone. It's amazing one day you have everything and the next day it is gone."
"Your strength and bravery and resilience are remarkable," Judge Christine Long later said to Matson.
Emotional victim impact statements were also shared in court by Matson's partner at the Waseca Police Department, as well as Matson's brother and mother-in-law.
Matson was shot in the head on Jan. 6, 2020, while responding with other officers to reports of a suspicious person behind a home in Waseca. Following the shooting, he faced several surgeries and therapies in his road to recovery.
Janovsky admitted to the shooting in a plea deal in July, pleading guilty to first-degree attempted murder and first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer. Janovsky is expected to spend two-thirds of his 35-year sentence in prison, and the final third on supervised release.
In court Friday, Janovsky apologized to Matson and said he's praying for his recovery.
"I am sorry for the pain caused by my inexcusable actions," Janovsky said. "I hope and pray Officer Matson fully recovers and his family finds some closure."