PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Clairton Police Officer James Kuzak is holding out hope that someday he’ll be able to stand up and get out of his wheelchair.
Until then, he’s doing the best he can to cope with his injuries.
“I’m still doing physical therapy in the pool,” said Officer Kuzak. “I get the aquatic therapy done. I do that twice a week.”
Officer Kuzak was shot and paralyzed on April 4, 2011, while responding to a home invasion.
A new documentary, “Heroes Behind the Badge,” tells his story and the stories of four other officers who were shot. Some survived, some didn’t.
For the first time, the filmmakers took Officer Kuzak back to the scene where he was shot.
“I saw the white door was closed, and in an instant it was open and it was a black void,” says Officer Kuzak in the documentary. “And all I saw was the muzzle flash.”
Officer Kuzak was shot two years to the day after three Pittsburgh Police officers were shot and killed in Stanton Heights.
Friday marks the five-year anniversary of that horrible day in Pittsburgh history. It will be a day we remember all heroes behind the badge.
For Officer Kuzak, it’s a day that changed his life forever, but he’s not the only one.
“You have to appreciate what police officers do. They don’t know if we’re going to make it home that night,” said Officer Kuzak. “They have family members sitting at home saying, ‘I love you’ when you leave. ‘I’ll see you later tonight;’ and that may not be the case.”