ALBERT LEA, Minn. - Since then Matson returned home in October after multiple surgeries and a lenghy recovery at a Nebraska rehab center.
Earlier on Wednesday the Waseca Police Department released a statement recounting on how the incident changed the department's world.
The full statement reads:
No one has been impacted more than Officer Arik Matson. Arik continues to recuperate and address his injuries. We think of him every single day. We miss Arik and feel incomplete without him.
Honestly, it has been a year filled with mixed emotions. Anger, disbelief, heartache, gratitude and hope are just a few of the many emotions we have felt when thinking of what happened to Arik. We have tried our best to cope and some days have been better than others. We are still here and so is Arik and that is what is most important to remember.
We have talked with and heard from so many kind and wonderful people throughout the entire United States. There simply are not enough words to express our gratitude to everyone who helped him, his family and our department. A simple thank you just doesn’t seem enough but we do sincerely thank each and every one of you for what you have done for Arik, his family and for us.
So today we honor and recognize Arik and we are thankful.
The Waseca Police Department
The department is not alone in continuing to remember and be inspired by Matson's journey.
KIMT News 3 spoke with his family's pastor Kaleb Hurely with Hope Church in Albert Lea. Hurley says it's been inspiring to watch the family keep fighting as Matson recovers saying Matson is currently able to have solid conversations with him, he's walking around and Hurley enjoys hearing him crack jokes.
"He's just a battler and God has had grace on him that's the only explanation for it because it doesn't make sense how he's walking, talking cracking jokes," said Hurley. "I mean he's different, he's not the same Arik everyone knew, but he's still definitely Arik all at the same time so he's definitely a walking miracle."
He went on to say the community is lifted by Matson's attitude and his wife Megan's desire to continue to move forward and not give up.
"We're all lifted up to watch him to continue to fight and to see him doing better and better and better all the time. "I think it just helps everybody know even with great opposition with God on our side and people in our corner we can defy the odds and that's exactly what Arik has done."
In July, Tyler Janovsky, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder for shooting Matson. He was sentenced in November to 35 years in prison.