PORTLAND, Ore. – The Lincoln City police officer shot and badly injured during a January traffic stop has been cleared to leave the hospital at the end of the week.
Lincoln City Police Chief Steven Bechard said Dodds will return home on Saturday. Dodds’ condition has steadily improved in the past weeks and Bechard said he looks forward to moving on to the next step of his recovery.
Dodds was shot several times during a traffic stop in Lincoln City on January 23. Police said David Durham fired the shots then fled the scene. That sparked a massive manhunt where he was last spotted in Waldport, but Durham was never located.
Dodds’ surgeons said most of his injuries were in his stomach and pelvic area. He had lost a significant amount of blood by the time he reached Emanuel Medical Center in Portland by helicopter.
He will leave the hospital Saturday in a limousine offered up by Chinook Winds Casino. He will be escorted into Lincoln City by his fellow officers and other emergency vehicles at about 1:40 p.m. on Saturday.
There will also be a public reception for him at 2 p.m. at the Taft High School gymnasium. Dodds is scheduled to make his first public statement since the shooting at that time.
Dodds’ family and co-workers said he had always been in great physical shape and cared about his health. His doctors said that healthy way of life increased his chances of survival.
Lt. Jerry Palmer with Lincoln City Police said the hunt for Durham is still a "high priority case," but acknowledged it's been a challenge since the trail went cold in Waldport.
Officers are still working to find leads through forensic evidence they collected, but the number of tips from the public has substantially dropped.
The FBI and U.S. Marshals Office are both helping track Durham, but so far they haven't turned up any solid leads.
"The honest truth is I think anybody's guess is as good anybody else's guess at this point," Palmer said. "The reality of it is we're going to have to get that special tip from the public to bring this thing to a close."