NATIONAL NEWS

Police officer reaches milestone in recovery from critical wounds in Louisville bank shooting

Jul 28, 2023, 10:12 AM

Louisville police officer Nickolas Wilt leaves a medical rehabilitation center in Louisville, Ky., ...

Louisville police officer Nickolas Wilt leaves a medical rehabilitation center in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, July 28, 2023. Wilt has received months of medical care since being critically wounded in a Louisville bank shooting in April. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Flashing a thumbs-up to his well-wishers, a police officer who was critically wounded while responding to a mass shooting at a Louisville bank in April was discharged from the hospital on Friday after enduring multiple surgeries and intensive therapy.

Louisville Metro Police Officer Nickolas Wilt now gets to sleep in his own bed and enjoy the steak dinner he requested, his brother Zack Wilt told reporters.

Nickolas Wilt was shot in the head during the deadly shooting on April 10 at Old National Bank in downtown Louisville. He has a “long road” ahead of him in his recovery, but he’s shown steadfast resilience and determination every step of the way, his brother said. The officer’s favorite catch-phrase during his rehabilitation: “Let’s boogie-woogie.”

“He wants to get back to it,” Zack Wilt said shortly before his brother’s discharge from Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, an acute rehab hospital in Louisville. “He was a 26-year-old, very active, helping young man and he is going to get back to that.”

The officer will continue his therapy through outpatient care at the rehabilitation center.

First up, though, will be that steak dinner, Zack Wilt said.

““Nick gets to go home today, sleep in his own bed, with his own TV,” he said. “And he’s been asking for a steak dinner for a couple weeks now. And you bet we’re going to get him a steak dinner tonight.”

Less than two weeks after graduating from the police academy, Wilt found himself responding to the April shooting. Authorities commended his bravery, saying he “ran towards the gunfire” to save lives.

Louisville’s mayor and police chief joined Wilt’s family and health care workers who gathered Friday to celebrate Wilt’s discharge more than 3 1/2 months since the shooting.

Health care workers and other well-wishers lined up, two or three deep, for the send-off.

Nickolas Wilt gave up a thumbs-up as he appeared, accompanied by his family and others close to him. Smiling well-wishers waved back and one gave Wilt a gentle fist bump. The celebration was quiet, at the request of hospital officials, but cheers erupted once Wilt and his entourage left the hospital lobby.

Wilt was wounded when a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 assault-style rifle, killing five while livestreaming before officers fatally shot him. Another eight people were injured, including Wilt.

The officer was in critical condition for nearly a month, undergoing multiple surgeries and overcoming infections. He was transferred to Frazier on May 10, where he has received neuro and physical rehabilitation, according to a release from UofL Health.

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Police officer reaches milestone in recovery from critical wounds in Louisville bank shooting