WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — Eighteen months ago, Cpl. Jeremy Braun with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was shot while on duty and suffered life-threatening injuries. On Monday, the sheriff’s office announced that Braun, now a sergeant, had returned to full duty after making an admirable recovery.
"It's a job that I've been doing for 17 years," Sergeant Jeremy Braun said on Tuesday. "So, it is just like it was, the same job when I left but the community that I've returned to has changed a lot the last year and a half."
On Aug. 8, 2019, Braun was part of the Tactical Negotiations Team that was called out to a heavily wooded area near Henry Hagg Lake to find a suspect accused of stealing long gun rifles from another person’s property. The suspect shot two deputies, including Braun. The other wounded deputy, Chris Iverson, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was eventually shot by other law enforcement officers and taken into custody on attempted murder charges.
Braun suffered serious injuries to his neck and upper body. He spent more than a month in the hospital and several more months in physical therapy. He says he even had to relearn how to walk and speak.
"I've since completed all of my physical therapy. Everybody's kicking me out of their office now," Braun said smiling. "No more occupational therapy, no more speech therapy, no more balance therapy. I'm still doing counseling, but that will probably go on for awhile."
Braun was promoted from corporal to sergeant last year. He’ll be spending the next several weeks working with other patrol division sergeants as he learns his new job.
Braun said he wasn't scared to go back to work after what he went through, but said it has given him a new look at life.
"Death means nothing to me anymore, because I understand how close it is," he said. "I think we as Americans think that death is further away than it actually is. Death is right there."
He said his biggest fear was bringing any discredit to the badge, his profession or his family.
"In the return process I wanted to make sure that I was as healthy mentally, emotionally and physically as possible so that I didn't bring discredit to the any of those," Braun said.
Braun has been a law enforcement officer for 17 years and he says he eligible for retirement in seven years. He said at that time, he'll do just that. He said he feels like he's given enough.