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Injured Cape officer returns home

Apr. 21, 2011


The street was lined with more than 50 of his colleagues as Cape Coral police Officer David Wagoner returned home Thursday from Lee Memorial Hospital.

"Some handshakes, some hugs ... (he was) just taking it all in that these people were here for him and that he was home," said Lt. Tony Sizemore, Cape police spokesman.

Wagoner was shot once in the abdomen during a traffic stop early Saturday. He was rushed into surgery that morning.

Yousel Lopez Rivera, 20, is accused of shooting Wagoner three times after a car in which Rivera was a passenger was stopped for an expired tag. The first two bullets struck Wagoner in his bulletproof vest.

Rivera is being held at the Lee County Jail without bond on a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.

It will be weeks before Wagoner will be able to return to work, Sizemore said. When he does, he will initially be placed on light duty.

Workers compensation will cover Wagoner's medical bills.

Since Wagoner worked a lot of extra details to make ends meet before the shooting, officers will pick up the extra shifts for him and donate the money back to Wagoner, Police Chief Jay Murphy said. The extra details included providing security at the water plant.

Hired in 2007, Wagoner earns a salary of about $46,000.

Wagoner's family is also receiving financial support from a special-needs fund established by the police union. The fund was created, Murphy said, because "we got calls from the community from those who wanted to give money and this is how we solved it."

The fund, at TIB Bank, is called the Cape Coral FOP Special Needs Account.

Wagoner and his family have declined comment on the shooting, but will release a statement next week.

Belk department store will have fundraisers Tuesday and Thursday for wounded Cape police Officer David Wagoner.

The store, at 2342 Surfside Blvd. in the Cape, will grill hot dogs, sell raffle tickets and collect donations. All proceeds will go to Wagoner and his family.

- Staff writer Tom Hayden contributed to this report.

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