Waseca, Minnesota welcomes home police officer critically wounded in January

October 21, 2020

WASECA, Minn. (AP) — The southern Minnesota city of Waseca has welcomed home a police officer who was critically wounded more than 10 months ago.

Hundreds of cheering people lined the sidewalks Monday to support Arik Matson (pictured), who walked haltingly along a line of fellow officers waiting for him under a giant “Welcome Home, Arik!” banner. He entered the police station with a little assistance from his wife, Megan.

Matson, 33, was shot in the head Jan. 6 while responding with other officers to a report of a prowler. He had multiple surgeries and spent the last several months in a Nebraska rehabilitation facility. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he hadn’t seen family members in person since February. He will continue to receive therapy in Minnesota.

“We hope every day he’ll get a little stronger,” said his grandfather, Ray Langerud.

The Waseca boys’ and girls’ hockey teams were on hand, wearing jerseys with Matson’s name on the back of each one. On the front were the words “Waseca Police” along with an emblem representing Matson’s badge, No. 222.

Tyler Robert Janovsky, 38, who was wanted on drug charges, pleaded guilty to the shooting. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 6 and is expected to get 35 years in prison.