Phoenix Police Officer Tyler Moldovan is lucky to be alive.
After being shot and nearly killed in an ambush, Moldovan is defying doctors’ expectations by making a miraculous recovery. And the community is rallying around him to provide assistance in any way possible throughout his journey.
Moldovan was shot eight times on December 14 while responding to a late-night call of vehicles speeding. The officer spent a month in the hospital going on and off life support following the shooting.
Doctors said his chances were low, but he defied the odds with support and prayers from family, friends and the wider community.
“We’re doing it all for Tyler,” Caleb Oaida, Moldovan’s cousin, told Fox 10. “When it first happened, we all thought for sure it was over. Even all the doctors said there’s no chance for him living. We started planning the funeral that night.”
Moldovan first opened his eyes on Christmas Eve, one of the first of many miracles on his journey to recovery.
Anthony Benchea, a friend of Moldovan’s from church, said the community has been rallying around Moldovan from the beginning.
“I think it just brought everyone together more. You see blue ribbons throughout the town. You see ‘Pray for Tyler’ signs everywhere,” Benchea said.
After months of praying, Moldovan continues to make a slow but steady recovery in rehab, with Instagram videos showing him using a stationary bike, throwing a ball and even going fishing.
“Never would have imagined that I would get to see Tyler holding a fishing pole so soon. Today, in his occupation therapy session, he practiced different movements of the fingers, wrists, and arm using fishing rods and even casting out to mock fly fishing,” Moldovan’s wife said on the @prayfortylerm Instagram page. “My heart was so full today. Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers better than I could have asked for. The impossible is being made possible.”
“Tyler’s going to be watching this. He’s watching everything and just want to say we love you and this is all for you,” Benchea and Oaida added.
Many businesses throughout Phoenix, such as Limon Urban Kitchen, have also lent their assistance. The restaurant said that they were collecting donations and setting 15% of its proceeds for Moldovan’s recovery.
“Ever since he got hurt, we just wanted to help out as much as we could and this is how we could do it — by the community coming together,” said Ryan Ray, owner of Limon Urban Kitchen.
The suspect, identified in court documents as 24-year-old Essa Kolareh Euge Williams, was arrested immediately after the shooting on December 14, and a $3 million bail was set for him.