As a wounded Fort Worth police officer remained in intensive care Wednesday at Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital, a friend said Matt Pearce faces many medical challenges but predicted he will fully heal.
"We just pray he can return to the force and continue to serve the people,” said Debbie Gillette, whose husband is a longtime Fort Worth officer.
Both families attend Wedgwood Baptist Church.
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"He did well through the night,” Gillette said. “We just have faith the Lord is going to heal him and bring him through it."
Pearce was shot Monday after he tried to stop Ed McIver, Sr., who was named in seven Parker County arrest warrants, and his son, Ed McIver, Jr.
Police said the father got out of the car at the end of the chase with a pistol and the son was armed with a rifle and pistol. The older McIver, 43, was killed in the shootout but McIver, Jr., 20, fled into a wooded area and was captured a few hours later.
Gillette visited Pearce in the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
"When I was there, he was sedated and was not talking,” she said.
Pearce was shot as many as seven times, including once in the cheek.
"He looks pretty wounded. I mean he's -- it's frightening. It's frightening to see someone like that,” Gillette said.
Pearce's wife, Laura, is a nurse in the neonatal unit of another hospital.
Gillette said she has fond memories of the couple’s wedding in 2008.
"Every woman wants to be the love of somebody's life, and Laura is Matt's,” she said.
They now have two young daughters.
Pearce went to college in Washington state and worked as a fireman before moving back to Fort Worth when his mother got cancer, Gillette said.
"(He’s) just a dedicated and loving person -- cared for his family,” she said.
Now, his family and many friends are caring for him.
"It's a long road,” Gillette said. “He's got a lot of injuries. We just feel like the Lord is going to bring him through it."