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Wounded officer speaks for the first time

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Wounded officer speaks for the first time

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Jun 2, 2013

Reporter: Liz Kotalik

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  As Nohemy Hite speaks about the husband she lost five years ago, shot while on a high-speed chase, Sergeant Robert Carpenter listens quietly in the audience.

"It makes me feel grateful that my wife isn't standing up there...very grateful for that."

Grateful that Sgt. Carpenter is able to say, for the first time to the media, that he survived.

"I just checked the house with two of the guys I work with," Sgt. Carpenter remembered. "We thought everything was fine. We were walking back to our cars, and the next thing I know, I'm on the ground."

Shot in the head seven months ago.

"There's things that I'm not ready to talk about quite yet," Sgt. Carpenter said. "It's a little disturbing."

After weeks of recovery in the hospital, today, he says he is much better.

But, a constant reminder of it all is the bullet still lodged inside his head.

We asked what life has been like for Sgt. Carpenter after the shooting: "Strictly recovery...trying to get back everything that I was before."

He says the Erik Hite Foundation was there for his family through all the hardship, something Nohemy says is what her work in her husbands name is all about.

"I know how hard it is," she said, "seeing our loved ones getting in uniform everyday and not knowing what's going to happen."

A risk both men took for our community.

"The support that Nohemy has given to us after her loss is fantastic," Sgt. Carpenter said, "what she has done, and you can't do anything but admire her for doing that."

Today, his journey comes full circle, saying "thank you" to those officers who put their lives on the line.

For more information about the Erik Hite foundation, CLICK HERE

Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.