SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) - A Utah County officer shot in the head during a crime spree is recovering, but he said he wishes he could trade places with a fellow deputy who was killed in the incident.
Gina Sherwood said Monday that her husband, Greg, is recovering well after he was shot in the head Jan. 30. Doctors removed a bullet that was lodged between his skull and his brain, she said, and they don’t think he faces any long-term damage.
But she said he’s going through a roller coaster of emotions over the death of 44-year-old Sgt. Cory Wride of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Wride was killed on a rural highway about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. He had stopped to check on a truck with its emergency lights on when he was shot while seated in his patrol car.
“His thoughts were that Cory was a better man than he was, and he wished he could have traded places with Cory,” Gina Sherwood said Monday in a news conference at a hospital in Provo, the Deseret News reports. “He just feels bad for the family. He feels bad for Cory. He just worries about everybody.”
The accused gunman, Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27, died after a shootout with Juab County deputies. Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge a 17-year-old girl who was with him during the 2 ½-hour crime spree.
Gina Sherwood said her husband hopes to eventually return to duty, though he first needs to get through physical rehabilitation and confront his feeling about the traumatic event. He is a K-9 officer.
“The physical healing has already started,” she said, the Daily Herald of Provo reports. “The emotional healing will take time. This will be with him and us forever.”
Gina Sherwood also said she’s supportive of the Wride family’s efforts calling for bulletproof glass in every patrol vehicle. The Wride family started an online petition to the White House that has nearly 4,700 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. They see the campaign as a way to lend meaning to a tragic and seemingly senseless death, as does Gina Sherwood.
“If (Greg Sherwood) would have had that protective windshield, and if Cory had, Cory would be with us, and Greg would be out patrolling with the dog,” Gina Sherwood said Monday during a news conference, The Deseret News reported.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is looking into options for outfitting patrol cars with more protective glass, Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. But the costs limit what’s feasible, he said. It could cost $150,000 to $750,000, depending on the option, to upgrade all 50 patrol vehicles, he said.
“The Utah County government runs a pretty tight ship financially already, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room for extra expenditures that come up unexpectedly. But they’re going to be looking at it,” Cannon told the Deseret News.