PLEASANT LAKE, Ind. (AP) -- A northeastern Indiana police officer shot in the face nearly six weeks ago says he is making steady improvement and hopes to eventually return to work.
"If I'm able to return, that's what I'm going to do," Waterloo Deputy Marshal Steve Brady told The Star of Auburn on Monday. "I'm optimistic I'll go back to work and continue to be a police officer. Time will tell."
Brady was responding to a call about a couple whose car was in a ditch in the town about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne when he was shot. The bullet entered his face just below the left eye socket and exited behind his right ear, fracturing a bone in his jaw, shattering the orbital bone under his left eye and the roof of his mouth and breaking another bone on the right side of his jaw.
His jaw has been wired shut since surgery on Dec. 21. He has a feeding tube in his stomach. He also has lost some hearing in his left ear and has vision problems in his left eye. Further surgery on his ear to repair the damage has been delayed while his jaw heals.
He said it's been hard sitting around.
"I'm having to force myself to be patient," Brady said. "I just have to take it a day at a time. It's going to be a long process, not only physically but mentally."
He remains weak but is able to walk and can speak with a clenched jaw. He said he has good days and bad.
His wife, Jan, is also a member of the six-member police force in the town of Waterloo. She said she will support her husband if he wants to return to work, saying she understands the dangers.
"It's what you sign up for," she said.
Brady said he can't discuss the details of the shooting because the case is pending. According to a probable cause affidavit filed earlier this month, Brady told investigators he found a couple walking through town and asked for identification. They said they didn't have any.
Brady said he was asking the woman her name when the man shot him.
Ralph Hardiek was shot to death by police about three hours later. Police said he and his girlfriend were hiding under the deck of a nearby home. Police say he refused demands to surrender, then pulled out a gun. Hardiek was killed and his girlfriend Julie King, 33, was critically injured.
The probable cause affidavit said Hardiek and King had planned to go door-to-door robbing people at gunpoint to get money for a trip to Utah so Hardiek could avoid being sent to prison on a drug charge.
King is charged with felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder and aiding in attempted murder. The felony murder charge accuses her of committing a crime in which a person is killed -- in this case Hardiek. She was being held in the DeKalb County Jail.
Brady said he holds no animosity for Hardiek or King.
"I'm more angry how this has affected my family, in particular my wife," he said.
He said he also feels fortunate.
"It could have been far, far worse," he said.
Information from: The (Auburn, Ind.) Star
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Lutheran Health Network CEO Brian Bauer received the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award at a ceremony Thursday afternoon.
Santa abandoned his traditional sleigh and arrived at Lutheran Children's Hospital in a fire truck.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control was busy Thursday afternoon responding to complaints of pets outside. Crews respond to every complaint in the hopes of preventing pets from freezing.
U.S. Census data shows that one Fort Wayne neighborhood is among the poorest in the state, and it the poverty rate has a direct correlation the rising crime statistics.
It was something that was never supposed to happen. A veteran who killed a woman in Indianapolis then took his own life was buried with full military honors. Since that day, the victim's family has been advocating against it.
The house fire affected traffic on U.S. 33 just north of Churubusco for over an hour. All lanes were back open less than two hours after the fire was called in.
Police said speed appeared to be a factor in a crash that all the occupants of the car seriously injured.
Three intersections on the north side of the city will have new left-turn signals that with a flashing yellow arrow. The new signals will be activated in January.
A plan is in the works to move Cindy's Diner from its current location in downtown Fort Wayne to another location one block northwest from its current location. The iconic restaurant has been a fixture downtown since 1990.
Former Komets executive, owner, general manager and coach Ken Ullyot passed away Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the age of 92.
The organization claims such legislation would hamper the city's ability to grow economically and that Fort Wayne should be "competitive on a national level and be recognized as a community that thrives on diversity, innovation, and inclusion,”
A state commission seeking ways to improve the lives of Indiana's most vulnerable children is forming a task force to investigate whether there's a link between methamphetamine arrests and child welfare cases.
Scammers are claiming to be from a law enforcement agency and are threatening to arrest victims if they don't pay the fine for an alleged crime or debt.
The free course will go over the laws and regulations about squirrel hunting and will teach attendees how to field dress and prepare squirrels for the table.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department arrested two people for having and making meth on Monday and Wednesday.