'Improving but has a long ways to go': Pastor gives update on Waseca police officer's condition

Officer Matson was injured in a shooting while responding to a call in Waseca, Minnesota.

Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson continues to fight for his life after he was shot in the head while responding to a call in a residential area earlier this month.

According to Matson's pastor at Hope Church, the officer is sometimes able to breathe on his own. As of Tuesday afternoon, he is still in critical but stable condition.

He said the bullet entered Matson's head near his hairline and went out the back right side.

"He is improving but has a long ways to go," he said.

On Jan. 6, four police officers responded to a report of a suspicious person with a flashlight in the backyard of a house on the 900 block of 4th Avenue South in Waseca, according to Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans. 

When officers arrived, they found the suspect, now identified as 37-year-old Tyler Janovsky, at a neighboring property on the 900 block of 3rd Avenue Southeast. At one point during the incident, Officer Matson was shot in the head and gravely injured. Police officers then shot Janowsky, who suffered non-life threatening injuries. 

Matson has been with the Waseca Police Department since 2013, according to Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought. He is assigned to the patrol team and is part of the South Central Drug Investigation Unit. He is also the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer, and a volunteer firefighter.