Oologah Officer Shot In 2015 Pursuit Still Recovering
Almost a year ago, Oologah officer Charles Neill was chasing three suspects who were shooting at him with automatic weapons.
One bullet went through Neill's windshield and hit him in the head.
Neill is still off work and likely will never be an officer again. He has a traumatic brain injury, memory loss, speech problems, headaches, plus bulging discs in his back and neck and nerve damage that causes his arms to be numb from the elbow, down.
Neill was backing a Talala officer on a car stop when the suspects took off. Even in the face of heavy gunfire, he didn't back down.
"They've already shown they're willing to shoot and kill an officer,” Neill said. “Those aren't the kind of people you just let get away."
He remembers everything until the moment the bullet crashed into his forehead, then only glimpses. He blacked out and his car started rolling. Two other officers pulled him out as fuel leaked everywhere.
"He said, ‘your husband has been shot in the head,’" Cherisa Neill said.
Cherisa was sure her husband was dead, but miraculously, he survived.
It's been a slow, painful recovery, and Charles received many honors for his courage.
He received a Purple Heart, a Medal of Valor, a national top cop award, Rogers County officer of the year, a governor's commendation, award from the Officer Down foundation and a letter of from a congressman, but when he looks at them, it's not what you'd think.
"They're not deserved...” he said. “I think the real heroes for me on that day were Capt. Pales and the officer who pulled me out of the vehicle, those are the two heroes for me."
On Thursday, we’ll tell you why this past year has been even worse because of worker's comp issues, including the fact Charles has not even been to see a neurologist and they're not sure he'll get to.
Family and friends have set up a way for you to help Officer Neill. Click here to donate.