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New Hope City Council Holds First Meeting Since Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – New Hope city council members returned to city hall Monday night for the first time since a gunman opened fire during a meeting.

Two police officers were shot as they left the council meeting in the incident two weeks ago. One of those injured officers returned to City Hall Monday night to thank all those who helped save lives in that incident.

"Our police family is pretty tight," Officer Beau Schoenhard said.

Police officers from New Hope and surrounding communities were on hand to welcome Schoenhard back to City Hall. It was the first time he'd been back in the building since Jan. 26, when Ray Kmetz walked in and open fired, hitting him and fellow New Hope Officer Joshua Ernise.

"It entered my hand, went straight through, broke my wrist and broke my arm," Schoenhard said, pointing to his cast.

Other officers inside City Hall returned fire, killing Kmetz.

Schoenhard, a 6 and a half year veteran of the force says he returned Monday night because he felt he had to.

"To show everybody that I'm OK," he told reporters at City Hall. "But also to show support to the council and the community."

Security was tight at the meeting. Police were seated at the council table, armed, with a direct line of sight to the door. Officers were also posted in the lobby and parking lot.

Schoenhard says he appreciates the show of support. He says it's what helped him make this night possible.

"I'm nervous, but I feel good," he said. "I have my support. I have my police family and my blood family."

Schoenhard thanked all who did so much to save lives. He doesn't call them heroes, but public servants that did what was expected.

"It's what we're trained to do. Everybody did their job that night and that's why we're still here," he said.

Officer Ernise was also at Monday night's city council meeting. He also says he's thankful for all the support.

Schoenhard says he'll get back to work as soon as his wrist and his arm heal.

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