CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A unique honor in Chicopee Friday for Massachusetts State Trooper John Vasquez, who was recognized for heroism under fire.
A horse that will ride in the Philadelphia Mounted Patrol has been named in honor of the trooper. It’s considered a high honor.
Trooper Vasquez was wounded by a man with a rifle in downtown Chicopee in April of 2012. Bullets were flying as Trooper Vasquez drove his cruiser into the line of fire, and became the target of the man with a riffle holed up in his West Street apartment.
Vasquez told 22News, how lucky he feels to be here today. “There’s no way I should be alive,” said Vasquez. “The gun is incredibly easy to shoot. As close as I was, my car got hit 17 times with me in it. There’s no reason why the 17 shouldn’t hit me.”
Trooper Vasquez needed four and a half months to recover from his bullet wound. The two Chicopee police officers who helped Vasquez escape death three years ago had mounted patrol horses named in their honor a year ago.
The horses are a gift from Skyllar Mullvaneey of Revere. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me,” said Mullvaneey. “I mean it is a passion, and law enforcement officers deserve to be honored.”
She calls her program Heroes and Horses.
The horses named in honor of the two Chicopee who helped Trooper Vasquez have become part of the police mounted patrols in Las Vegas and Washington D.C.