State trooper recalls 'horrifying' shooting


When asked to sum up the experience that day, Trooper Michael Potts summed it up in one word: horrifying.

"It went very bad very quickly and I'm just very fortunate to survive it," said Potts.

It's been nearly a month since Potts was hit by bullet after bullet during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 70 and Cheek Road in Durham.

With his wife and daughter at his side, he attended a fundraiser Friday evening for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The 11-year-veteran is far from being healed after the incident that could have killed him.

"I couldn't believe it was happening," said Potts. "That's something that you have in the back of your mind that it can happen in our job, that it can happen. I definitely wasn't expecting it that day."

On Feb. 18, Potts pulled over a driver for not wearing a seatbelt. Shortly after that, authorities say the driver opened fired. Potts was shot four times.

Even as his body was riddled with bullets, he found the strength to walk to his cruiser and call for backup. He was determined to prove he was a trooper through and through.

"I knew I needed to survive for my family and I just knew that day it was not going to happen," said Potts.

Mikel Brady, 23, was charged in the shooting and Brady's girlfriend, Lyndsey Smith, was also arrested. While prosecutors work to build their case, Potts has work to do of his own.

He's having some trouble hearing and can't feel the right side of his face either.

"[I've] still got the ringing," he said.

Potts starts physical therapy next week with an amazing support system by his side.

"To look at my wife, or my son, or my daughter's eyes, those are special times now and I got to spend a lot of good quality time with them and it's very good," said Potts. "I do treasure it a lot."

Potts said he has every intention of returning to the force, but it will take time.

There's a blood drive coming up in Potts' honor. It will be held May 20 at Palace Pointe in Roxboro from 3 to 7:30 p.m.

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