TEMPE, AZ — A Tempe police officer shot in the line of duty is opening up for the first time about her recovery and the overwhelming support her family has received.
ABC15's Danielle Lerner sat down with Officer Lindsay Long to talk about how the wife and mother of two is healing physically and her newfound gratitude this holiday season.
"It was fast is all I can tell you. It was fast," Long said.
"I was hit once in my right forear. I have a metal rod and six screws in my arm, so I've had two surgeries on my arm so far," Long said. "I was hit in my upper left arm here, and I was hit also in my back on the left side and my vest caught that one."
Long has been an officer for 15 years and knows the risks that come with a promise to serve and protect. Still, "the incident" as she calls it, hit her family hard.
"Getting a phone call from your wife telling you she's been shot kind of sets you back real quick," said Lindsay's husband, Justin Long. "She's a strong woman. She takes care of this family, and it would be really hard to try and do without her."
Long admits at times, it's been a lot to handle, but she credits the community with getting them through.
"I think that what helps the most is the amount of support from the moment my incident occurred, all the way up until you guys walked through the door," she said.
Fast forward to December 16 and this time that support showed up in the form of Santa and his elves.
So many gifts in two for the whole family. An early surprise courtesy of VIP Mortgage in Tempe and the 100 Club of Arizona, to help celebrate a Christmas that almost didn't happen.
"I'm just thankful I'm able to be here for Christmas and that I can see the smile on their faces when they see our tree," Lindsay Long said.
"It could have not been a good Christmas you know? The fact that she's here with me and with us it makes it good," Justin Long said.
Long says her partner, who was also shot, is doing well in her recovery. Long knows she too has a lot more recovering to do but says she is determined to get back to patrolling the streets as soon as she can.