DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Hundreds turned out to “Support the Shield” over the weekend and to raise money for Pueblo police Officer Jonathan Bell, who was shot in the line of duty in April.
Bell was the recipient of this year’s Adsit Strong Rise and Run 5K.
Bell’s wife, Melinda, thanked the community for its support.
“It’s incredible, overwhelming the amount of support and love. Just more than we could’ve anticipated,” she said.
Bell was shot five times in both legs. His femur was shattered and he had extensive muscular damage.
“Every week I definitely see improvement when I go to physical therapy,” he said.
No one, not even his wife, expected him to walk the Adsit Strong 5K.
“I think some of his friends mentioned talking him into being pushed the full 3 miles. He didn’t seem very into that. When I rounded the bend over there and saw him walking, I was very surprised. I am so proud of him. It’s incredible to see where he was back in April to the progress he makes each week. To see him walking some of this is just unbelievable,” Melinda said.
Bell ended up walking the entire course on his own two legs, supported by members of his department, his family and the community.
“This is a big accomplishment. The furthest I’ve walked is 30 meters at most before… this was 3.1 miles. I’m really good. I’m exhausted right now, but having all my friends and family come out and support me, it was awesome!” he said.
And to give him even more motivation, his 7-month-old baby girl who was born just nine weeks before the shooting.
“Even though he’s been couch and bedridden for the last several months, he’s gotten time off work to watch her grow and his goal is to start walking by the time she is. I think he’s just a little bit ahead of her, but she is catching up pretty fast. He’s going to have to get to a place where he can chase after a toddler before too long. She’s been a good finish line for him,” Melinda said.
Adsit Strong was started by Denver police Officer John Adsit. He was protecting protesters when he was hit by an out-of-control driver on Dec. 3, 2014. He suffered life-threatening injuries, but he has made a remarkable recovery. He started Adsit Strong to help other first responders who are injured on the job.