Ambushed Sanibel officer recalls night he was shot

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SANIBEL, Fla. First came the loud noise.

Sgt. Jarrod Ciccone didn’t know what happened when he heard the bang at almost 8 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2016, just after pulling a car over for speeding along Periwinkle Way.

It wasn’t until he smelled gun powder that he knew he’d been shot. Two gunshots went through the driver side window of his cruiser, one bullet hitting him in the arm.

The agony soon set in.

“Oh, it was painful,” Ciccone said. “It was extremely painful, and even when it was in there, you could feel it. But, I was alive.”

Three months after that chaotic night, when shooting suspect Jon Hay wound up exchanging gunfire with other officers and barricading himself inside his home, Ciccone was back patrolling the Sanibel streets.

It took some time for him to ease back into the job, one he believes carries more risk than in years past.

“It seems like right now, we’re going through a time where you know, people hate cops,” Ciccone said. “It seems like a very dangerous profession to be in right now.”

But, Ciccone said he knew there was always a possibility he would fall prey to gunfire.

“From the day you start, from the day you’re in the academy, you realize this is something that can happen to any of us,” Ciccone said.

His goal is to put the shooting behind him, but he’ll probably be forced to revisit that night at least once more. With Hay awaiting trial for attempted murder, Ciccone will likely have to testify.

“I don’t know his thought process, I don’t know why he did it,” Ciccone said. “I don’t know that I ever will.”

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