CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer shot in December while investigating an illegal deer hunting complaint is making progress in his recovery.
ODNR officer Kevin Behr is finally out of the ICU after spending several weeks in it at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The wildlife officer is now in a private room with windows and can look out and see the Cincinnati skyline.
Tuesday night he was able to see much more, including a parade of cruisers lined up on the rooftop of the nearby Goodman Garage, all flashing their lights in a show of support.
“The vibe here is just amazing!” David Warner, Division of Wildlife Supervisor, said. “The energy here... the support and everything. It’s all we could have hoped for.”
Behr gave a sign from his window to demonstrate his thanks.
“I know Officer Behr looked out from his window with his wife, and hopefully that was an emotional moment for him,” CPD Lt. Steve Saunders said. “I know it was an emotional moment for me and many officers that are here.”
Even though he is now resting comfortably, Behr still has a long way to go in his recovery.
“We have a little journey yet but happy to be making it,” Behr’s wife, Kathy, says. “We’re gonna make the most of this miracle.”
Three men have been charged in connection with the shooting, but prosecutors say it was Brian Liming, 43, who fired the shot.
“This was not an accident,” says Chris Gilkey with FOP Lodge 143. “Someone purposely made the decision to pull the trigger and to shoot, and that ultimately resulted in Kevin being injured the way he did. This was by no means an accident.”
All three men are now out on bond with Liming facing a felony charge of assault.
Kevin and Kathy have three children. The kids had to spend Christmas without their father because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“You know, you can’t be with your dad. You’re not allowed to have those interactions. You know, when somebody needs you the most in this situation, unfortunately, they weren’t able to have access to their dad and that’s got to be excruciating on a family,” says Gilkey.
From a feeding tube to five pieces of pizza eaten on Tuesday by officer Behr, that is progress.
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