DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach police officer Kevin Hird, 28, is on the road to recovery after he was shot in the line of duty last month.
"It's kind of a weird feeling when you're strapping on your vest, thinking 'Hey, I could get shot tonight,'" Hird said. "I like to look at it as I'm putting on my suit of armor and I'm getting ready for war every time I go. I mean, that's the mentality you need to come home."
Luckily, Hird returned home. He now has two surgeries under his belt. Police said 40-year-old Raymond Roberts shot Hird in the shoulder when Hird confronted the man, who was armed with an AK-47.
"The sound of the round, you're not going to forget that. The crack of the round going past you. Yeah, you won't forget that," Hird said.
He said the bullet tore through his muscle and shattered his bone, but it was the best-case scenario because he still has mobility in his arm and hand. He returned to the shooting range last week.
"Hearing the rounds over and over, it kind of traumatizes you. You got to get it out of your system. So, go to the range. Go shoot and, from there, you'll be better."
As a Marine, Hird knows how to bounce back. He said he's been shot before, while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hird said he's overwhelmed by all the support from his colleagues.
"These guys and gals, they'll do anything for you. I mean, they'll come cut your grass if you ask them to. They're great," he said. "I love my career. I couldn't do anything else."
Hird has been with the Daytona Beach Police Department since 2017.