Columbia cop talks about being shot on duty

Officer Alex Broder speaks out for the first time Tuesday about being shot in the line of duty.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Not a day goes by that Alex Broder doesn't think about the young man who had a gun and chose to use it.

It felt like a mack truck had hit me in the chest, Broder recalls.

On his fifth day working with the Columbia Police Department, Broder became a shooting victim.

He stepped out of the car, fired one shot, and returned to the car in about one second.

It all started early April 27.

Broder and his field training officer pulled over an SUV. As the two approached the vehicle, investigators say 22-year-old Blakely Jernigan got out of his SUV, fired at police and drove off.

Related Stories... Officers receive bulletproof vests Police: Shandon shooter was wearing explosives, left gas on in home Police: Suspect killed in suicide by cop after shooting officer

On Tuesday, Broder shared details of that fateful day which didn't end with the bullet to his chest.

According to police, the suspect took off and was later found at home on Blossom Street. Authorities coaxed Jernigan out of the house and killed him after he opened fire on them.

I don't play the 'what if' game, I don't play the 'why', Broder adds. I am very thankful to be here.

Since the incident nearly three weeks ago, Broder has been off-duty to give him time to recover and go through mandatory counseling.

He returns to the force Wednesday, but before doing so, members of the community honoring his commitment to protect and serve at the Columbia City Council meeting.

Two bullet proof vests were donated to the department -- one from the Shandon Neighborhood Council, another from Safariland , a company which makes the same vests CPD cops are required to wear.

The bullet that actually hit officer Broder wasn't suppose to stop, so I am just very happy that it did, says Nicholas Scott, Broder TMs field training officer.

Scott has tried to prepare Broder for anything and everything. However, he believes nothing can replace on-the-job experience and together the two will continue to learn from each other.

Watch a raw video interview with Officer Broder above.