LYONS, Kan. (KSNW) — This week marks one year since a Lyons police sergeant was shot in the line of duty. It happened while responding to a call in city limits.
Police Sergeant Cory Ryan said he thought it was just another routine call, but something felt different.
“Something was very off about the call, and I had actually had butterflies in my stomach, trying to figure out, you know, there really is a gun involved, how would I handle it?” said Ryan.
When he pulled up, he said he heard a man yelling something from the house next door. As he approached the house and walked near the garage, that’s when things took a turn.
“All of a sudden, he had the gun pointed in that direction and already shot me,” said Ryan. “The first time I was hit was right here in the face, and the bullet ended up in the back of my neck, and then, I aimed up to start shooting back at him, and he got me one time under the arm and went clear through.”
Ryan said he was shot roughly six times, hitting his chest, arm, and face.
“I was done, and I knew I had to get help,” said Ryan. “I didn’t exactly know what happened to him. I didn’t know if I hit him or anything when I was shooting back. I just knew that I needed to get help, and I remember clear as day as he was firing back at me.”
He said he remembers two strangers who saved his life, the moments of getting to the hospital, and finally laying down 30 minutes later.
“I heard a couple of people hollering at me and tell me, come on, let’s go, we got to get you to the hospital,” said Ryan. “I guided them to the hospital and kept telling them to go faster.”
He said he believes pushing through and staying awake in that time is what saved his life.
“I think that’s what ultimately saved me is being able to keep going and pushing forward,” he said.
He has since had five surgeries, and a sixth is coming in November. He says this incident is one that he continues to live through.
“It just replays over and over through my mind,” he said.
Ryan said he owes his life to a few strangers, his family, and a supportive community, and it’s giving him a new purpose when it comes to protecting his community.
“Knowing the community standing behind me, it makes me want to get out there and talk to people even more,” he said. “There’s days that I get nervous, and there’s days that I’m ready just to go out and go out and get back at it, and you know it’s really hard for me to just sit here and watch everybody else work.”
Ryan said he is on desk duty now, but he expects to be back out in the field in about six months.
He also eventually wants to teach new officers to prepare them for that worst-case scenario situation.