WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) – A police officer shot in the head in Warren County last week is recovering after his family says the bullet went “through his face.”
Clearkcreek Township Police Officer Eric Ney responded to a domestic violence call on July 12. At the scene, a man later identified as 65-year-old Mark Evers shot Ney before another responding officer shot Evers dead, police say.
Lisa Ruman is Ney’s sister. Ruman spoke to FOX19 Wednesday night, eight days after the shooting that put her brother in Miami Valley Hospital.
“Tuesday, July 12th, I got a call… It was my niece,” she said. “I knew something was wrong. She said he was shot in the face, so that’s all I could think about was, ‘Oh my gosh, his face… his brain.’”
Law enforcement sources said minutes after Ney was transported by medical helicopter that he was breathing on his own. Lt. Wallace Stacy with the Clearcreek Township Police Department later described Ney as being in critical but stable condition.
“I thought, ‘A gunshot to the face? There’s no way…’” Ruman recalled. “But I have strong faith—and he does. Our family does. We have a lot of people praying for us—praying for him.”
For their part, the family’s prayers were answered the day following the shooting when doctors revealed the extent of Ney’s injuries.
“I felt so much better when I saw him on Wednesday,” Ruman said. “His face was no longer wrapped, and he looked a lot better than I expected.”
The bullet entered beneath Ney’s right eye. It went “through his face,” Ruman explained, “and then came out above his left ear.”
She continued: “His face looks amazing compared to what he went through. He’s got black and blue eyes. They’re not sure about reconstructive surgery right now. They don’t see anything except for the sinuses. He may have some vision loss in his left eye and possibly some hearing loss in his left ear.”
Ney has been at Miami Valley since the shooting happened. On Thursday, he moves to a rehab facility.
His family says he might not have gotten this far, this fast, without the support of his uniformed brothers and sisters.
“I know police are tight in the police community,” Ruman said, “but I didn’t know how much until last week.”
Ruman recalls looking at social media a few days after the shooting. “It was an overwhelming amount of support, not just from the community, but from the nation.”
Ney has a long road ahead of him, but his family has faith he’ll get there.
“He will do whatever he has to do to get better and get back to work,” Ruman said, “get back to living his life.”
Hidden Valley Orchard announced that they will be hosting a benefit for Ney and his family July 20-24 from 3-10 p.m. They also set up a link to donate to his recovery in rehab.
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