Over three decades ago, Columbus (OH) Division of Police Officer Tom Hayes suffered a gunshot wound during an attempt to arrest two teens on a curfew violation on December 18, 1979.
At approximately 2:25 am, Officer Hayes approached the teens to take them into custody, when a struggle transpired. During the altercation, the suspects removed a handgun and shot 30-year-old Officer Hayes in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Seven-year-veteran Officer Hayes suffered serious health issues the remainder of his life as a result of the shooting; one of his legs was amputated six years ago. After the incident, he continued to work as a civilian sketch artist for the Columbus (OH) Division of Police, until 31 years later, he finally succumbed to his injuries at the age of 61.
Officer Tom Hayes is one of the 15 officer fatalities recorded thus far in 2011, and one of two fatalities from Ohio. He is survived by his wife. “For all the pain and suffering and agony he has been through, he never showed it,” said Officer Hayes’ wife, Mary. “He was my hero.”
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