Troubleshooters: Injured LMPD Officer Nick Wilt’s family shares progress

Troubleshooter Exclusive: Injured LMPD Officer Nick Wilt’s family shares progress
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 7:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For the first time, the family of the young officer who put strangers’ lives before his own during the mass shooting at Old National Bank talked about their gratitude, heartache and hope.

“Zack called me and said, ‘Mom, sit down and breathe,’” Jennifer Wilt, Nick Wilt’s mother, said. “I didn’t even bother. I said, What? What? Just tell me.”

Nick Wilt is now at Frazier Rehab, working on his recovery after being shot in the head April 10. Wilt was hit while saving lives during a mass shooting that would cost five innocent lives.

“He’s never turned away from a challenge,” his twin brother Zack said in an exclusive Troubleshooter interview. “This isn’t stopping him.”

“Every single day I tell him we’re going to have a good day today, and he gives me a thumbs up,” Zack said.

Nick is now able to respond and even get on a treadmill. The long-term effects of his injury are not yet known. His family said his personality is now shining through.

Nick is one of three brothers born to a mother who has always been nothing but proud.

“They were so close in age, everyone thought they were triplets,” she said.

The shooting happened on the Monday after Easter. A mass shooter entered where he once worked, Old National Bank, and fired mercilessly.

After killing five people and injuring others, he took aim at those running to save lives, like Officers Cory Galloway and Nick Wilt, who knew from the moment they pulled up that the gunman was firing at them.

“I can’t imagine what she’s gone through,” Zack said of his mother. “I mean, it’s, not even our worst enemy should go through that, should go through this.”

Nick has had a few close calls since, fighting serious issues with his lungs. His family shared moments of his progress, though he has a long road ahead.

“We want to be fair to him and when the big things happen, we’re definitively going to be talking about that. But it’s just slow, and we don’t want to rush him,” Jennifer said. “We want to make sure he’s learning and doing everything, and he is, I mean they’ve been wonderful.”

The family is as close as ever, but they had already been through tremendous loss. The boys’ father had passed just a couple of months prior. He and their mother were married for nearly 30 years.

“The preparation over the years has built up, and you ask why you’re going through all of those things at the same time,” Jennifer said. “Now I kind of reflect and say, well, maybe it was preparing you for this. And I hope this is it.”

Many happy memories filled the air. They included family vacations to the beach, holidays, and childhood mischief. The good stuff.

“We look back, and we have those memories and that’s made us well-rounded, and it’s keeping us as strong as we are,” Jennifer said.

It was no surprise Nick wanted to be an officer. He’d been a dispatcher and a firefighter too.

“What he wanted to go do, he did it,” Alex said. “He accomplished it. Everything he says, he would do.”

On April 10 five lives were lost, and their families were left in agony. The survivors will have to navigate the enormous trauma themselves. Jennifer thinks of them, and the officers who came to her son’s rescue, risking their lives for a rookie they didn’t even know.

The family which has mainly stayed by Nick’s side, hasn’t been out much, but they have felt the support from the community through the hospital walls.

The fact that Nick helped save others, even at his own expense, gives this family comfort.

“Every life is soo important and that’s what’s so sad because everybody is so affected,” Jennifer said. “I want to be there for him. I want to let him know he’s here for a reason and that reason is not over. There is a reason he survived this and everything that came against him.”

The family is planning to take Nick to the place he loved as a child as soon as he’s able, the beach.

If you would like to help, visit the Louisville Metro Police Foundation’s Facebook page here: