New Orleans PD officer Trevor Abney is a walking miracle – and possibly a walking time bomb.

On Oct. 30, 2020, at about 4:30 p.m. Abney and his partner, Officer Brooke Duncan, a fellow war-veteran-turned cop and his good friend drove down Royal Street and headed to the station for a cup of coffee.

On route, they stopped in front of CC’s Coffee and waved through a pedicab.

Officer Abney didn’t see the passenger in the pedicab, aiming a gun at his car.

A witness later recounted, “He cocked one of these handguns that has one of these long clips in it. And he started firing into the cop car!”

“I looked back up and saw a round circle in the windshield dead center,” Abney said and realized immediately they had been ambushed.

“I knew I was getting shot at from somewhere, but couldn’t tell from where,” he said. “I thought the rounds were coming from one of those balconies.”

Abney was in the driver’s seat. He leaned to his right and right into the line of fire.

“I caught it in the left cheek and it went — I went instantly blind.”

Abney and Duncan dove out of the car and tried to get behind it.

“Duncan came around the corner and he looked at me and he had that shocked look on his face.”

“It felt like the whole left side of my face was hanging off or gone. I heard Duncan kick in the 108 ‘officer down’ call, so I knew the cavalry was coming.”

Duncan told Abney to run.

With sight in only one eye, he saw a woman motioning him into a nearby store.

Remarkably, the woman was a former army medic, and another man a current ER doc.

While Abney lay bleeding, back up arrived — a first district policewoman.

“She says get up and run!” Abney recalls, “And I said so we’re gonna run again?!”

They ran to her patrol car and raced to the hospital.

Miraculously, Abney survived.

The shooter was apprehended and identified as Donnell Hassell, 44, of Georgia – a 20-year military veteran. But little is known about him, other than he belonged to the Augusta Bikers Alliance.

Abney says he feels no hatred towards the man, but has only one word for him: Why?

We may never know.
But Abney’s life has been forever changed. After he regained consciousness in the hospital, doctors show him an x-ray of his brain showing the 40 cal. Full Metal Jacket bullet lodged dead center, right between his eyes.
It’s still there.

“With all the medical training I’ve had, I’m like there’s no freaking way I should have survived that!” he said.

Abney is still blind in his left eye, and the precarious location of the bullet still in his head could cause a stroke or other serious problems down the road.

But for now, he’s a walking miracle. And there’s one other amazing part of his story.

In September of last year, two police officers were ambushed in Los Angeles. Nine Line launched a “Defend the Blue” fundraiser that generated $80,000 — which we divided between the two officers.

One of them said he didn’t need the money and would rather send his funds to the New Orleans officer who was shot in the face, and needed it more.

There is no greater definition of pay it forward. At least not in our books.

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