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Officer who survived shooting explains bulletproof vests’ power

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FORTVILLE — A week after a suspect shot four Indianapolis SWAT officers, Fox 59 is learning more about the gear that helped save their lives.

Two of those officers virtually walked away, thanks to their bulletproof vests.

Officer Matt Fox, with the Fortville Police Department, knows what those vests can do. In July 2012, Fox was chasing a suspect, when that man jumped out of his car and fired eight times.

“It helped stop five bullets from going into my chest,” Fox said.

Fox was shot once in the head, but amazingly survived and is back on the force today. He credits those bullets that hit his chest and the vest there to protect him with his survival.

“Without it, we’d be one less officer,” said Fox’s fellow officer Lt. Pat Bratton.

The vests don’t always save lives, as in the case of IMPD Ofc. Rod Bradway. However, the technology is getting better and the vests do a lot for officers in the line of fire.

“We make sure all our officers have them and we make sure all our officers wear them,” Bratton said.

In Fox’s case, it was a regular day, when he put his vest on under his uniform as usual. He didn’t even think about it until that moment everything changed.

“Wearing that vest that night saved my life. If I had not been wearing that vest, I would have not been here today,” Fox said.