NH officer recovering from 2019 shooting shares message about police

WEARE, New Hampshire — A Weare, N.H. police officer recovering from being shot on duty last year hopes to return to street duty one day, even during a time of tense relations between police and the public.

“We get into this profession, because we want to help,” Officer Paul Lewis told Boston 25 News Thursday. “So, of course, if we see something wrong in the world, we want to correct it, too.”

Lewis was a rookie 27-year-old officer when he was shot twice in the arm while responding to a domestic violence call on Aug. 1.

Body camera video shows Lewis and his partner, Sgt. Austin McGuire, entering the home and finding the suspect, Jeffrey Clough-Garvin, pointing a gun at them, shouting, “Kill me.”

McGuire fired at Clough-Garvin, striking him. Clough-Garvin then returned fire, hitting Lewis twice.

After a stand-off, a police robot found Clough-Garvin dead inside his home. He had been shot three times by police, but, an autopsy found, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. McGuire was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Lewis was shot in the forearm and the bicep. He was rushed into surgery and underwent another procedure the following month. He will go in for another surgery next month, on the second anniversary of his swearing in.

“I’m trying to work hard and be optimistic but realistic as well,” Lewis said of his future on the job.

Lewis is currently on administrative duties, as his arm is still not functioning well enough to be back on street duty.

While protestors across the country are fighting against police brutality and racism, Lewis says he is listening, and he, too, has a message.

“Definitely, some police do bad things, 100 percent,” Lewis said. But that’s not us. That’s not the majority. So it hurts when people say all police are bad.”

Lewis is active on social media, sharing not only silly and light-hearted videos but also serious ones about policing. He hopes not to be seen as an authority figure but to humanize the profession.

“It just shows we are human – and we are,” Lewis said. “And especially with everything going on now, it shows not only do we laugh but we also cry and hurt.”