LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two Louisville Metro police officers shot in the line of duty Wednesday night are recovering and are expected to survive.
On Wednesday, Maj. Aubrey Gregory and Officer Robinson Desroches were shot near the intersection of Brook Street and Broadway. Gregory was hit in the hip, while Desroches was struck in the abdomen. Both were rushed to University of Louisville Hospital and are stable.
The news of the shooting left Gregory’s friends nervous about his condition.
“With everything going on in the city, unfortunately, the worst went through my mind,” Asia Ford said.
“Well, my heart dropped,” George Rodman said.
Rodman has experienced that feeling before. Rodman’s son Nick was killed in the line of duty in 2017. Wednesday night, when he heard the news, he feared for the worst for his friend Gregory.
“Going through what I’ve gone through with my family, losing Nick, and still having a son in the department, yes my heart definitely dropped,” Rodman said. “I texted him last night. We talked a little bit, and the last text he sent was, ‘I’m going to be OK, and I can’t wait to get back out there.’ That’s the kind of leader he is.”
Ford took that praise a step further.
“He’s my hero,” Ford said. “I think a lot of people, with everything going on, the turmoil, the hurt that the city is feeling with the Breonna Taylor case, I think that people should know who some of these police officers are. And you have a lot of police officers, like officer Gregory, who is not just out here trying to stir the pot. He’s actually behind the badge because that’s what his passion is.”
Ford met Gregory in 2015, barely able to breathe while struggling to finish a 10K race. As she was on the verge of giving up, she said Gregory came out of his police car, put his arm around hers, and led her to the finish line.
“I was at that moment where I was about to give up, and if it wasn’t for him my son would’ve saw me give up,” Ford said. “So I’m just thankful for him.”
Since then, the two have remained friends, checking on each other periodically. Ford told WAVE 3 News she talked to Gregory on Thursday morning, asked how he was feeling, and returned the words of encouragement he gave her five years ago.
“I was just really worried about how he was doing,” Ford said. “Once he told me that he was doing good, I was able to breathe again. So he is doing good. He is in the healing process and I’m just glad he’s OK.”
LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said Thursday morning that both officers are stable, and are expected to recover. And just before 6 p.m., Councilman Anthony Piagentini tweeted a video of Gregory returning to the department for roll call, to a well-deserved ovation:
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Schroeder also said he expects protests to continue in Louisville.
With more uncertainty on the horizon, both Ford and Rodman told WAVE 3 News they hope people can see officers' hearts behind theIr badges.
“(Gregory is) a good person and I just really hope and pray that people are able to understand that he’s not just the man behind the badge,” Ford said. “He’s a person who’s really passionate about that job.”
An LMPD spokesperson said Desroches remains at UofL Hospital while he recovers from his injuries.