Officer William Beeler was with five fellow officers as they tried to enter a home on Courtland Street Thursday after shots were fired during a domestic dispute involving Manchester resident Eddie Reyes.
They were trying to make their way into the home when Reyes turned the gun on Beeler, shooting him in the shoulder.
"Once I realized I was shot, just a quick assessment of my shoulder, made sure I was okay, and just fell back to a position of cover so I didn't get hit or compromise any other officers on scene, Beeler said Friday, his arm in a sling.
State Police say Reyes fired between 100 and 150 rounds from three guns during the standoff that followed Beeler's shooting. Detectives collected evidence from the scene all day Friday.
"The police officers that responded to this call for help were literally attacked," State Police Lt. Paul Vance said. "The police vehicles that responded, even the tactical vehicles that responded, State Police detectives are finding and locating bullet holes and markings on these vehicles."
After being shot, Beeler was taken to the hospital while Reyes continued to fire shots from the home. Reyes was holding his family members, including two children, hostage. After more than an hour, a police sniper shot and killed Reyes.
Officer Beeler has been with the Manchester Police Department for three years and a member of the National Guard for ten years. He is also the head football coach at Enrico Fermi High School in Enfield. He credits his fellow officers for saving his life.
"No matter how safe you are, no matter how right you do things and rely on the training, there's always that chance that you just gotta rely on the guy next to you, and the guys next to me really stood up. I credit those guys for me standing here today," Beeler said.
The wounded officer, who has a wife, 1-year-old twins, and another baby on the way, said he was looking forward to resting at home with his family.