Family says Nic Cederberg nearly paralyzed by bullets fired by fleeing homicide suspect James Tylka on Christmas night.
Nic Cederberg, an Oregon State Police trooper injured in a Christmas night shootout, was shot 12 times in the arms and torso, his brother said this week.
Jeff Cederberg posted on the family's GoFundMe account on Tuesday that his brother had given him permission to begin sharing details about the events of that night, which left two people dead and Cederberg in serious condition at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital.
"What many don't know is how bad it really was that night," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "Most can speculate but few know what really happened."
Jeff Cederberg's comments are some of the first detailed accounts of the shooting, which investigators have been hesitant to give out, citing the pending investigation by the Washington County Major Crimes Team and the district attorney's office.
'Gun fight in a phone booth'
Cederberg, a state trooper stationed at the OSP's work site in North Plains, was shot by 30-year-old James Tylka, a former Beaverton Police Department cadet, whom police say had killed his estranged wife Katelynn Tylka-Armand, 24, of Beaverton, outside his parents' home in King City early that evening.
Cederberg was having Christmas dinner with his family when he received a call about the shooting in King City. "I'm going to see what I can do to help," Jeff Cederberg remembered his brother saying during a candlelight vigil on Jan. 2. "Nic went out and saved lives that night. He put his life on the line to protect those who couldn't do it themselves."
According to Sherwood Police Chief Jeff Groth , Cederberg chased Tylka and confronted him on Southwest Gimm Lane, just outside of Sherwood.
Jeff Cederberg said that the shots were fired from about a dozen feet away, during a "gun fight in a phone booth" in Sherwood.
"Almost every one of his rounds, three magazine's worth, had been fired when it was all said and done," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "When the shooting stopped and all went quite Nic knew he was in serious trouble. As he lay there for a little more than two minutes by himself bleeding, he locked in mentally and found a way to survive."
Five shots were stopped by Cederberg's bulletproof vest, but seven others struck him in both arms and torso, hitting his lungs and abdomen. Two others hit his spinal canal, nearly paralyzing him.
Four bullets were still lodged in his body when he arrived at OHSU that night, Jeff Cederberg said. One is still in his lower spine, which Jeff Cederberg said will likely stay there for the rest of his life.
Tylka was shot and killed by officers, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Five police officers fired their weapons during the gunfight, including officers from Hillsboro, Tualatin and Sherwood police departments. All remain on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
After Tylka was killed, officers from Sherwood grabbed a trauma bag from his police vehicle and began to render first aid to Cederberg. Officers used tourniquets to stop the bleeding, Groth said.
Groth said that the actions of those officers "played a vital role" in Cederberg's survival.
"What (Nic Cederberg had) with him were experienced officers who knew how to pack bullet wounds correctly and this ultimately save Nic's life," Jeff Cederberg wrote. "…The only reason he is still here today is someone was watching over him that night, I firmly believe it. Any one of those 12 bullets should have killed him and they didn't."
Donations pouring in
Cederberg's recovery is moving along, his brother said. Cederberg is expected to be released from the hospital soon to begin physical therapy.
Money continues to pour into several GoFundMe accounts set up for victims of the Christmas night shooting. Cederberg's GoFundMe account has raised more than $80,000, which Jeff Cederberg said will help his brother get through tough times ahead.
"This is not a reward or bonus for doing his job that night," Jeff Cederberg wrote in a previous post earlier this week. "What this GoFundMe account is really for is to give Nic as well as his wife Hayley what they need the most and that is time. Time to heal, time to rest, time to decompress, time for Nic and Hayley to be together and breathe easy knowing that thousands of people have their back and that we will stand watch for them now."
A fundraiser for Tylka-Armand's daughter has raised about $11,000, while a separate fundraiser for Tylka's son has raised about $3,000.