“I’m very grateful for this community:” Greenville police officer shot in the line of duty honored for his return by the city

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Expressions of gratitude and appreciation for a Greenville police officer, who was shot in the line of duty last month, continued Monday as he was recognized by the city.

Officer Jeremiah Lovelace made his long-awaited public appearance at city hall Monday night, for the first time since being shot over a month ago.

“Honestly, it was a lot overwhelming,” Lovelace said. “Just the love and support I had from my department, much less from the community itself.”

Back in April, authorities say Lovelace was shot in the arm by Jonas Fucito with a 12 gauge-shotgun while responding to what police said was a domestic violence call on Glendale Drive.

After spending three weeks recovering at home, Lovelace returned to work about two weeks ago.

“I was ready to come back by that Friday, but unfortunately I couldn’t,” Lovelace said.

Much like his first day back on the job, Lovelace received similar applause from many at Monday’s city council meeting as he and his family were recognized.

Lovelace says community support and faith kept his spirits lifted during his recovery.

“It’s just awestruck really that’s how our community is,” Lovelace said. “Not a lot of people have a community like this.”

Many see Lovelace as a hero, but he says he’s just grateful his arm is okay after everything.

“The Lord has really protected my arm through all of this because I’ve got all full function out of it,” Lovelace said. “I don’t have any nerve damage whatsoever, which is a miracle.”

Police say the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.