INDIANAPOLIS — Since the shooting near Fountain square Sunday that left Patrol Officer Thomas Mangan seriously injured, Southeast District Commander Ron Hicks says the community support is unmatched.
“We’ll continue to be there for our brother and support him in any way that we can," Hicks said.
Dozens of emails, texts and phone calls have poured in for support of the Mangan, and the community came together earlier this week to hold a vigil outside of the southeast district. They came to support the late shift roll call officers. Hicks said also worked the late shift.
“The support going forward is going to be very important because the officer is going to have a long recovery," Hicks said.
According to IMPD, Mangan is facing "significant damage" to his Adam's apple and voice box.
It's uncertain if he will be able to breathe, speak or swallow normally again.
Hicks said the family is deeply connected to their faith, which he believes is carrying them through, along with support from the community and department.
"For sure, I can guarantee you the IMPD is not going anywhere. We're going to be there for the officer. We have officers, unfortunately, who were injured in the line of duty shot in the line of duty injured in car accidents or whatever, many years ago that we're still supporting and helping along the way. I mean, they're our brothers and sisters, and they always will be so we're not going to go anywhere. So I hope that the community continues to keep the support up for the weeks and months ahead," Hicks said.
IMPD Officer Santos Cortez said the most important things the community can do right now are to have faith and send prayers. Cortez knows the path Mangan is going through.
“Faith and prayer — I mean it really means a lot to people who don’t understand who want to give back to the person, but don’t know how," Cortez said.
Since 2012, he's been in a wheelchair after being injured by a drunk driver while on duty.
"This job is bigger than yourself. I mean, it really is. You are going out helping somebody you don't know what the possibility of your life could end at any moment. So I try to tell him, just remember that your safety, your importance to your family, everything that you do, everything that you stand for everything that you know, uphold with wearing a badge is very important. So whatever you do, don't disgrace the badge, because you're disgracing officers who were never able to finish their tour," Cortez said.
As time distances itself from the injury, the constant support changes. Life, though, remains drastically different. For Cortez, he said he is overcoming adversity daily and encourages his fellow officers and the community to continue showing support.
“I just want to tell people and fellow officers, take a moment, just give a guy a call, if you see him in the grocery store, don’t walk the opposite way, walk up to him and say hey bro, are you okay?” Cortez said.
Fellow officers are stationed at the hospital with Mangan at all times as he continues to recover.
Those who wish to support Mangan by sending him a card or letter can send one to:
IMPD Southeast District
Attn: Officer Thomas Mangan
1150 Shelby Street