Page 59 - October 2021
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CPMF award honors officers who saved one of their own
Nearly two years to the day after an offender shot and critically wounded Officer Adam Wazny, the officers who saved his life received the Chicago Po- lice Memorial Foundation’s Officers of the Month award for September.
Officers Zaireh Acsvecs, Mark Mejia and Robert Verdin, as well as Wazny and Sergeant Murphy Rayl, were hon- ored by CPMF for their efforts during a shootout with the offender. More im- portantly, though, they were praised for the quick actions that likely pre- vented tragedy after Wazny was shot multiple times.
“Our training took over and I’m so proud of all the officers involved,” Rayl said during a brief ceremony on Sept. 14.
It all happened on Sept. 21, 2019, when Wazny and other members of the Fugitive Apprehension Unit-U.S. Mar- shals Regional Task Force went to the 1900 block of West 65th Street to arrest a man in connection with a shooting that had happened three days earlier in the Fulton River district.
Wazny came into contact with the man as he left his home. Things esca- lated when, as Wazny tried to detain and handcuff him, the man pulled a handgun from his waistband and opened fire on Wazny. The man fled after exchanging gun fire with other officers and then returned to continue shooting a short time later.
Despite bleeding heavily after being struck multiple times in the leg and groin area, Wazny returned fire, as did other officers before they were able to capture the man after a short foot chase. Meanwhile, Wazny began to put a tourniquet on his leg when Acsvecs and Verdin jumped in to help by apply- ing multiple other tourniquets.
The location of where the shots hit Wazny, however, made it difficult to slow the bleeding, so the officers put compresses into the wounds to do all they could to save Wazny’s life. Rayl, seeing Wazny’s condition deteriorat- ing, quickly decided to transport the
wounded officer to the hospital him- self. Mejia rode along, applying direct pressure to Wazny’s wounds as Rayl drove to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Once there, emergency department staff stabilized Wazny, who almost im- mediately went into the first of several surgeries to remove bullets and bullet fragments, as well as to place metal rods to help repair the bones shattered by bullets.
“The staff at Christ noted that if not for the collective efforts of our awardees, Officer Wazny would not
have survived,” CPMF Executive Di- rector said during the ceremony.
Rayl expressed gratitude and appre- ciation to everyone involved.
“It’s an honor. I’m so happy that Of- ficer Adam Wazny is here with us to accept this award. I thank God for him pulling through. I thank God for these officers — it was a collaborative effort,” Rayl said.
Officials said the suspect was charged with five counts of attempted murder in connection with the shoot- ing.

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