Richmond Heights officer who was shot in chest gives back to group that helped him

PAINESVILLE, Ohio- Richmond Heights Police Sgt. Michael Gerl has been waiting 11 months to thank the people that helped him after he was shot in the chest while on duty.

“I wanted to do more than just send them a note,” Gerl told FOX 8 Friday. “I wanted to do something to help them so they can continue to help others.”

On Friday, he gave the organization Police Wives of Ohio a check for more than $1,000.

“Since we operate solely on donations, this is big for us because we will be able to help other officers in the future,” said Fran Battani, of Police Wives of Ohio.

Gerl, an avid sports fan, said the Cavs and Indians' winning seasons gave him inspiration. He thought he could design a T-shirt celebrating the two teams and sell it, with part of the proceeds going to Police Wives of Ohio.

His friend, Ray Minger, owns a printing shop in Painesville and was willing to help out.

"I thought it was a great idea," Minger said. “I was hoping we could do more.”

The shirts are $19.95 and there are still a few remaining. If interested in purchasing, please call Max Printing at 440-357-0036, go to 759 Lakeshore Blvd, Painesville, Ohio 44077, or go to www.irondemon.com. Any shirts left over will be donated to a local charity.