A Metro police officer shot in the line of duty is on the mend and plans to return to work when she's physically able.
Officer Faye Denson was shot in an east Nashville alleyway November 5.
She spoke publicly for the first time since the harrowing incident Tuesday.
Denson, a seven veteran, was hit in the right thigh and is expected to make a full recovery.
“When the bullet hit, it entered into the muscle part of it, it didn't touch the arteries or the femur bone,” Denson told a crowd of reporters. “Words can't exactly say what I felt at that time but I was just trying to take cover, just trying to get out of the line of fire.”
Denson says initially, she didn't know she was hit.
“Basically the adrenaline was pumping and I didn't know it till a few minutes later,” she continued.
Denson was hit while chasing suspect Eric Perkins, 18, following what began as a routine traffic stop.
The incident has given her a new perspective on life.
She said, “Oh yes, it certainly does, that someone can take your life in a matter of seconds and I'm fortunate it didn't happen to me and it gives you a second chance and I'm grateful.”
During the pursuit, a fellow officer returned fire, striking Perkins in the upper torso.
Perkins survived and remains behind bars, charged with attempted homicide.
Denson isn't sure when she'll be back out in the field, but when she does return to the streets she'll be a better and smarter police officer.
“I'll pay more attention to stuff,” she said, “I will be more aware of my surroundings, which I was before, but I'll be a whole different person.”
Denson has no husband or kids but has a huge Metro police family that she says has done nothing but check on her every day, send her messages constantly and feed her to the point she says she's probably put on a few pounds.
There's no time table for her return to the streets, but she says she's eager to get back on the job.
- Nov. 13, 2012: Grand jury to hear case against gunman who shot officer
- Nov. 7, 2012: Man accused of shooting officer released from hospital, jailed
- Nov. 5, 2012: Metro police officer shot in east Nashville