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Denver Police Officer Tony Lopez Jr., shot 2 years ago, says love saved his life

Posted at 11:05 PM, Dec 07, 2017

DENVER -- Anyone with kids knows how fast time flies, but even more so for Tony Lopez, Jr., because two years ago Friday, his time almost ran out.

"It's been probably the fastest two years of my life," said Lopez Jr.

Lopez Jr. was responding a traffic call on Dec. 8, 2015, when he was shot six times before he could even get out of his car.

In the beginning, doctors were not sure if he would make it. 

His wife, Kristen, had recently found out she was pregnant. Now, she said, she sometimes thinks about that day when she sees her husband and her 18-month-old son Antonio VI together.

"If I could call everybody who helped save him, I'd call them every day to say, 'I don't think you understand what we get to experience every day,'" said Kristen Lopez.

Lopez's shooting has since changed the way police departments across the country train and how they use tourniquets, which helped save his life.

He still bears the scars from the bullets and from multiple surgeries, and he has a drop foot.

"What we're thinking happened is I got compartment syndrome below my knee," said Lopez, who said while his foot may never fully recover. But that doesn't stop him from doing Crossfit or running or working.  

So many people saw his story, and their outpouring of support is his motivation.

"You see pure evil, and then you see nothing but love from so many people," said Lopez. "So much love, it trumps over that."

Lopez, who is a second-generation DPD officer, has now been promoted to Sergeant. 

He wants others to know their support and the the love of his family helped him survive.

"When something does happen, I think it's important people see the people out there in the middle of the night protecting them are tough and will stand tall and rally when things like that happen."