WASECA, Minn. (FOX47) — A Waseca police officer who was shot in the line of duty is returning home after months of recovery, and police are inviting the public to help welcome him home.
According to an announcement on the Waseca Police Department’s Facebook page, Officer Arik Matson is set to come home on Monday. Matson was shot in the head while responding to a suspicious person call on Jan. 6.
The community is invited to line the sidewalks of State Street to welcome him home from the Waseca Junior/Senior High School to the Public Safety building starting at about noon.
WPD said emergency vehicles will bring Matson past the public in a drive-by so he can see everyone who came to welcome him back.
The Waseca Police Department is giving out blue line wrist bands with 22 stars, symbolizing Officer Matson's badge number of 222. They are free to pick up at the city's public safety building before Monday.
Communities across Minnesota have rallied behind the officer since he was wounded in the line of duty. His wife, Megan, has continued to inform the public through updates on CaringBridge.
Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought released the following statement:
“The day we have hoped for is finally almost here. Arik will soon be home with his family, his law enforcement family and his friends. We have missed him tremendously and will continue to support him as he recovers from his injuries. We would like to acknowledge and express our deepest gratitude to the first responders, doctors and nurses who saved his life. We also would like to thank the numerous retired and current law enforcement officers who watched over him at various facilities and the essential workers who provided outstanding care to him during his healing journey. Lastly, thank you to the countless number of people throughout Minnesota and the United States who have sent their well wishes to Arik and to us. Your support will never be forgotten.”
The man convicted of shooting Matson, Tyler Janovsky, will be sentenced on Nov. 2. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder charges in July.