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Trooper who was shot in Layton traffic stop returns to work

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Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 14:47:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah Highway Patrol trooper who was shot in the back during a traffic stop in August is returning to work.

On August 28, Paul Kotter was helping to provide extra security in a construction zone near the south entrance of Hill Air Force Base. Shortly before 2:30 that morning, 21-year-old Drew Moyer drove up to the area and Kotter pulled him over. The incident started as a routine interaction, with Kotter asking Moyer for his license and registration. But Moyer suddenly grabbed a handgun and shot Kotter four times. According to UHP, Kotter was shot twice in the back and twice in the buttocks.

Kotter said he had almost made the decision not to wear his bullet-resistant vest that night. But it was that vest, and thoughts of his family, that helped him get through the ordeal.

"I said to myself 'Nobody's gonna take me away from my family' and I fought for my life. I fought for my family. I fought for my other brothers and sisters in brown and everyone that wears his badge," Kotter said as he addressed the media Monday.

Kotter's injuries caused him to fall to the ground and break a wrist, but he was able to return fire.  Moyer sped off, crashed into a tanker truck and shot himself in the head. Moyer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kotter has been promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant and he is now the new commander of UHP's DUI squad. He hopes his story will remind other law enforcement officers about the importance of wearing bullet-resistant vests.