Officers Tell Their Story of The Henry Pratt Shooting
One of those officers was Marco Gomez, who was just blocks away from the Pratt building when the shooting began. Gomez, along with other officers, ran towards the building when he was shot in the back of the thigh.
“I just ran,” said Gomez. “Figured I couldn’t sit or just drop. Whether it was the adrenaline or whatever I just kept going and headed towards the dock area. I tell everyone I did my best Javy Baez impression with the nice slide.”
While Gomez assessed his wound, officer John Cebulski, the first officer at the scene, was inside the Pratt building looking for the gunman. Cebulski was on the second floor of the building when he saw the gunman out of the corner of his eye.
“He was going up the first stairs so I turned and yelled at him with my gun pointing towards him [and said] ‘Aurora Police’, and before I could say the word “Aurora” he started firing at us. And the first shot hit me in the knee,” said Cebulski.
What The Officers Were Thinking When They Were Injured
Cebulski, like Gomez found himself injured and looking for cover. The two eventually were transported to the hospital. In the midst of drifting in and out of consciousness both officers fought for the chance to see their loved ones again.
“There’s something about saying ‘hey I’m going to see them one more time’. You make peace with the man up stairs and say ‘if you’re going to take me, take me,’ but I’m going to fight until I get to see my family one more time,” said Gomez.
That night was senior night for my son who played basketball at that time for Aurora Central Catholic High School. So in my mind thinking ‘ok it’s 1:30 now the game is not until 7:00, how am i going to be able to get done with this and the walk out with him?’”
Both officers pulled through. Gomez got to see his family again, and Cebulski made it to his son’s senior game after it was moved to a week later as a result of the shooting.
The efforts of Gomez’s and Cebulski’s and every other helpful hand that day prevented the unfortunate incident from becoming even more devastating.
Four of the five officers who were injured during the Pratt shooting are back to full-time duties! Officer Gomez made his return one-year after the shooting, and Cebulski is eyeing a comeback later this year.
Naperville News 17’s, Christian Canizal reports.
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