Moldovan’s Miracles: Shot Eight Times and Never Expected to Survive, Phoenix Cop Walks Again

Moldovan’s Miracles: Shot Eight Times and Never Expected to Survive, Phoenix Cop Walks Again

By Stephen Owsinski

On December 14, 2021, Phoenix Police Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot eight times. His prognosis was bleak. Healthcare professionals stated Officer Moldovan had little chance to survive. Other eerie prognoses followed. One assertion was that, if he somehow did pull through, he’d never walk again.

Per a Phoenix Police bulletin written hours after the shooting, “Just after 2:00 a.m., officers responded to the area of 15th Ave/Camelback due to calls of a vehicle driving erratically. Officer Tyler Moldovan was assisting with the search at an apartment complex when he encountered the suspect who shot Officer Moldovan multiple times.

“The suspect was taken into custody on-scene without further incident. Officer Moldovan was transported to a local hospital where he remained in critical condition. Officer Moldovan graduated the academy in March of [2021] and just turned 22 years old [in November 2021].”

A synopsis written by one of Officer Moldovan’s colleagues at the Phoenix PD provides a snapshot of the horrific event which nearly resulted in the fatality of a law enforcement officer working the midnight shift and the dire damages caused by a wanton criminal’s bullets:

“On December 14th, 2021, Phoenix Police officer Tyler Moldovan was shot eight times, including once in the head while on duty. Several medical experts said Officer Moldovan’s injuries were not survivable, yet one year later he is making incredible strides.

“Tyler and his wife Chelsea are now telling their story to Public Information Specialist Ryan Cody. The couple talks about a range of topics including his miraculous recovery, the support they feel from the community, and his plans to rejoin the department.”

The depth of faith throughout this story is glorious and awe-inspiring.

Filmed exactly one year to the day of the shooting, here is brief footage of the in-home interview of Officer Moldovan and his super supportive wife, Chelsea, outlining their miracles:

Pretty fascinating outcome after a situation that had zero hope whatsoever. As Officer Moldovan said, he takes up the challenges…keeping his eye on the eventual prize: Policing in Phoenix.

I’ve been following Officer Moldovan’s story since the fateful night when a gunman unloosed bullets into this brave, courageous, determined, and faith-founded policeman.

Imagery and video of his full-time ongoing physical and occupational and speech therapies were difficult to observe. Yet, the sheer will of this young man is one for the record books, typifying how incredibly resilient humans are.

After months of chronic therapy sessions —during which he determinedly fought the good fight without complaint— Officer Moldovan was able to not only attend his brother’s graduation ceremony as a Phoenix firefighter but also got to pin his sibling’s shiny badge on a blue uniform.

Badges in the family, indeed. Huge heart to undertake a perilous job on behalf of anyone who summons help? Seems it runs in the family.

And the drive to serve keeps on coming…

“Miracle on 34th Street” is a classic Christmastime movie, as some may recall. For a recent Christmas parade in Arizona, Officer Moldovan’s miracle included stepping into and perching upon the passenger seat of a Phoenix police cruiser, decked with boughs of holly and lights, strolling by onlooking celebrants (feature photo above).

That’s a true measure of a man who has defied death and beat all odds stacked against him, concentrating on donning a Phoenix Police blue uniform once again.

The hard work continues and will now be carefully invested in returning to duty. Respectfully, it will be akin to training for the police academy all over again, evaluating physicality and mental acuity. In the interim, Officer Moldovan will be classified as on “light duty” whereby assignments and police responsibilities we often do not see —because they’re indoors at police HQ— are conducted. The typical recordkeeping and many ancillary aspects of law enforcement, having nothing to do with being in the presence of suspects of any kind, are endeavored.

Although I hold no credentials in neurology whatsoever, I hypothesize that Officer Moldovan’s brain development (regrouping) may benefit from some of the information flow crossing administrative duty desks, for him to process according to police protocols and policies.

On light duty several times in my police career, the administrative aspects taught me things I had only a cursory knowledge of (police records section; forensic science stuff; budgeting; agency accreditation; etc.) and molded me as an even better field training officer (FTO) once I was “medically cleared” to return to full active duty.

During light duty and after I laced up duty boots again and hit the streets, command staff overwhelmed me and my family with unwavering support in various ways. I knew I had chosen the right agency for me. Police executives were patient with me, understanding of the road ahead, and tweaked things as the weeks went along.

I found it beneficial to go behind the scenes and work within the infrastructure of what comprises a law enforcement organization.

With that, any police trainees I had been assigned thereafter were exposed to some rather esoteric but useful information belying the administrative ends of police work. Nuances of behind-the-scenes law enforcement operations bolster the brains behind the badges.

In that context, one can easily imagine a well-rounded and wholly fortified police officer thanks to spiritual souls rooting for men and women cops, just like Officer Moldovan’s colleagues continue to do for his rehabilitation and hopeful return to duty.

We’ve already witnessed a batch of Moldovan’s miracles…and eagerly await a bevy more.