About midnight, Alfrey pulled up alone in his cruiser, got out and began checking the facility on foot. He spotted broken glass in a window and thought there may have been a break-in. So Alfrey walked into the dark, partially finished building and pressed against an interior door. That’s when he was hit in the chest by a shot fired through the door.
“I remember I heard something, looked around and thought, ’What was that?’ Then I looked down and saw blood on my shirt. I had been shot between my heart and a lung,” Alfrey said.
The man who shot Alfrey was a construction worker who had been standing guard overnight because of the thefts. The man had his young son with him.
“Obviously I was in shock and upset about being shot, but if I had lost my cool and shot back through the door when I didn’t know who was shooting or why, I could have hit a child and that would have been much worse,” Alfrey said.
Moments after the shooting, another officer arrived at the scene, and Alfrey walked to that officer’s car and radioed that he had been shot.
“My backup was a dog man (officer with police dog), and I remember sitting in the car. and the dog licked my ear. Then I thought, ’Oh God, now the dog is going to bite me,’” Alfrey said with a chuckle.
Alfrey said while being transported to the hospital, it began to sink in that he had actually been shot. He thought about who was going to take care of his children, including his son, Chris, who is now a Middletown police officer.
Alfrey was not wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot. They were not issued to officers in those days, but his wife had bought him one that he occasionally wore.
Vests are standard issue now. Middletown Officer Dennis Jordan was wearing one when he was shot Monday in Turtlecreek Twp. after a police pursuit. Jordan is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.
Chad Stafford Hamilton Police Department
Before Monday’s incident, the last Butler County Officer shot in the line of duty was Hamilton Officer Chad Stafford. He was shot in the head on Feb. 15, 2014.
Stafford was shot by a man with a rifle who had been firing shots in a Sipple Avenue neighborhood.
When Stafford got out of his car, the man shot at him. Stafford ducked behind a car, but the bullet grazed his head. Wounded, the firearms instructor and veteran of the Hamilton Police Department returned fire, killing the man..
Stafford recovered and is still patrolling Hamilton streets.