Metro officer says she forgives suspect for shooting her - WSMV News 4

Metro officer says she forgives suspect for shooting her

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For the first time, a police officer who survived a gunman's bullet told her story Tuesday.

Officer Faye Denson was chasing a man who then turned and fired at her. She said she knows if the bullet would have hit her inches from where it did, she could have died.

"It's healing pretty good, and I plan on coming back as soon as I can," Denson said.

Denson picked police work to make a difference. Taking a bullet in the line of duty won't have her quitting. In fact, it seems it only increased her resolve.

Now, walking with crutches and still battling pain, Denson would rather be in uniform.

"Words can't exactly say what I felt at that time. I was just trying to take cover. I was just trying to get out of the line of fire when he was shooting," Denson said. "Adrenaline was pumping at the time and I didn't know until a few minutes later."

Earlier this month, while on shift in East Nashville, the seven-year veteran joined the chase for Eric Perkins, a suspect who ditched an SUV and tried to run.

In an alley, he turned and fired at officers. A single bullet hit Denson in the leg.

"Something could just take your life in a second and all that, and I'm very fortunate that it didn't happen to me. It does give me a second chance and I'm grateful," she said.

Somehow, the officer stayed calm, and her commander said that could have saved her life.

"She did a fantastic job. Even after she was shot, she was very calm, cool. You could hear that in her voice," said Metro Police Cmdr. David Imhof.

Perkins took a bullet in the chest fired by another officer and wound up in critical condition.

Perkins is recovering and faces attempted murder charges.

Denson said she forgives Perkins, who now faces the toughness of a court of law.

"The court system, you know, is going to take care of what has to be done. I mean, I'm going to leave it up to the judge. I'm going to leave it up to the D.A. and all that, so they can just go ahead and do their job," she said.

Doctors, who decided to leave the bullet in Denson's leg, were not able to give a timeline for when she can return to work.

At just 17 years old, Perkins already has a criminal record. But the newest charges could cost him years in prison.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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