Just about a year ago right now, I was sitting down to lunch with a couple of my former coworkers at KCRG-TV, Katie Wiedemann and Mike Battien. Mike was one of our promotional guys, who was in town for something or other and wanted to take Katie and I to lunch next door to our office in downtown Dubuque. Katie and I were having what we thought would be a slow day. All of the day’s big stories were coming out of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, so we were snapping up a few smaller stories around town. We had two or three already in the can when we sat down to lunch. We barely had our order in when our day changed dramatically.
As we chatted around the table, Katie and I both got word that there had been a shooting a few blocks away at Knicker’s Saloon. We cancelled our food, jumped into the news car, and got to the scene as soon as we could. As we would come to find out, the shooting was an officer-involved incident, and the officer in question was our friend Lt. Scott Baxter.
Lt. Baxter had been elevated to the position of the Dubuque Police Department’s Public Information Officer a few months earlier. He was our main contact person on any story about the DPD, and he was pretty good at that job. Moreover, he was a good guy and very easy to get along with. Little did we know, he is also 100% badass.
Lt. Baxter was returning to the police station from his lunch break when he heard the call about a robbery in progress at Knicker’s. He was the first officer on the scene. As he encountered the robbers, shots rang out. One of the suspects was injured in the shootout. So was Baxter, who was struck in the left shoulder, right arm, abdomen, and thigh but shot from the sawed-off shotgun that was fired at him. Baxter was taken to the hospital, and released the following day.
Here’s the amazing part of this story: Baxter was back at work less than 10 days later. Shot in the line of duty and back to work in 10 days. That more than qualifies as badass in my book.
Even more amazing than his recovery time has been Baxter’s humility over the past year. He has said on more than one occasion that any other officer on the force would have done the same thing, and the only thing that set him apart is that he was the first one on the scene that day.
After the jump, I’ve posted a few links to some of the stories we put together on Baxter in the day after the shooting a year ago today. Please take a moment or two today to remember just what kinds of sacrifices our police officers and firefighters are faced with each and every day.
Here’s our report from the 10:00 news the day after the shooting, when police released the names of the suspects they’d taken into custody: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/78587677.html
This is the story about the initial appearance that one of the suspects made on the Saturday morning after the shooting: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/78595432.html
Here’s our story from when Baxter returned to work, including our entire interview with the wounded officer: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/79346412.html