NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - On July 12, 1986, NYPD Detective Steven McDonald was on routine patrol in Central Park when he was shot and left paralyzed from the neck down by a suspected robber.
The gunman- Shavod Jones, who was 15 at the time of the shooting- died three days after being released from prison.
While in prison, Jones apologized to McDonald.
"To be able to forgive him is why we are here," said Pat McDonald, Steven's wife.
"In my case, after the worst happened, we were able to find it in our hearts to forgive that young man. We found a new purpose and resolved to move on and move forward," said McDonald.
He spends a considerable amount of time speaking to students and church groups about forgiveness and redemption.
In light of the recent shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, McDonald said that police are here to serve.
"I believe Commissioner Bratton sets the tone for the department. There is a divide, but I don't think it's as big as people say it is," said McDonald.