BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Upshur County’s Chief Deputy Mike Coffman received a Purple Heart award on Thursday for being shot in the line of duty on June 16, 2022, while helping Lewis County law enforcement officers respond to an active shooter situation on Interstate 79.
Coffman was shot in the leg by 38-year-old Matthew Brevosky of Grindstone, Pennsylvania during an incident that at one point had all lanes of traffic on I-79 shut down near Weston. There were multiple civilians driving on the road when the shooting began.
The Upshur County Emergency Management Director happened to be on I-79 when he saw the gunman on the interstate, firing randomly, so he reported what he saw and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office responded along with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and West Virginia State Police.
A witness shared a video with 12 News that showed the gunman lying prone behind a silver Ford Explorer that was parked sideways, blocking both lanes of traffic.
12 News Anchor Harley Benda interviewed Lewis County Sheriff Dave Gosa a few days after the shooting.
“We tried to talk to him over the radio, over the PA system, and that’s when he started shooting at us. That’s when we got down behind the cruisers,” Gosa told her.
Gosa said that Coffman was hit and that he got out in the open to help get Coffman into a cruiser.
Coffman was taken to Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital for surgery by Upshur County Deputy Director for Homeland Security Derek Long.
The bullet went all the way through Coffman’s leg but missed his bone and major arteries. When Benda interviewed Coffman himself while he was recovering, he told her, “I truthfully think I’m probably the luckiest guy on Earth right now. To be sitting here talking, and not have…one, to be sitting here talking or not to have a lot of other problems that I had to deal with.”
Long was also honored recently for helping to rush Coffman to the hospital.