UNION CITY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Four surgeries later, the police officer injured in a deadly shootout with a suspect in Union City on April 1 is now home.
"I remember talking to my wife prior to the call, going about my normal day, and then things just tragically turned," Officer Jerome Turner with Union City Police told FOX 5 News.
In his first sit-down interview since the incident, Turner reflected on the 911 call that led to a chase and then a shootout on Highpoint Road.
Turner pointed to where he was shot in six places -- from his shoulder to his toe.
Turner said he is anticipated to have a full recovery but not before at least 16 weeks of physical therapy.
"I'm feeling great considering [the circumstances]," Turner laughed.
Despite his persistent smile, Turner, not even a year on the job, is forever changed, continuing to lose sleep over the routine call that nearly ended his life.
"It gets rough sometimes," he admitted. "I get up at 3 in the morning. I'm just kind of looking around, get in my wheelchair roll around my house. I've always been that kind of protector regardless, but now I'm just more aware, just trying to see where the kids are, making sure they're still upstairs."
But one thing remains unchanged for the former police chief: his desire to serve.
"I'm going to stay in law enforcement, that's my passion," Turner said.
In fact, he is already itching to get back to work; he is hopeful to serve in a new capacity.
"Just this incident alone is definitely a training opportunity for my agency and fellow agencies around to understand that we're just not gonna give up when we face tragedy and adversity," Turner said.
Turner wants to focus on crime prevention and even explore becoming an adjunct professor once he is permitted to return to light duty.
In the meantime, he said as the primary income earner, money is tight for his family even with worker's compensation.