About a month after Wilmington police officer Justin Wilkers was shot in the line of duty, doctors finally removed the bullet from his face.
According to the Facebook page established to update his supporters, a status update from yesterday reads, “Surgery is done…finishing up now….Large bone fragments have been removed along with other things….ear canal reconstructed using cartilage from his ear. Now we continue to wait for nerves to recover….”
Unsure whether to remove the bullet, doctors left it in place following Wilkers’ initial surgery. Doctors say Wilkers did not suffer permanent nerve damage, adding he will be able to move his face and hear again.
The three-year veteran of the force was shot, Feb. 3, during a traffic stop in the city’s Southbridge section. Frederick Gray, Jared Wiggins and Ronald Boyce, all of Wilmington, were arrested; Gray, 21, is charged with attempted murder.
The 34-year-old patrol officer is married with two small children. Close to 1,000 people took part in a 5K fundraiser run last week, organized to help offset Wilkers’ medical bills and medications. In all, the event raised about $25,000.
The Ronnie Williams Foundation also began collecting funds to support Officer Wilkers and his family. Donations can be made at thergwfoundation.org or donors can stop in any Fulton Bank branch. Checks should be made out to The Ronnie Williams Foundation, with ‘Officer Wilkers Family’ written on the memo line.