Hundreds show up for prayer service to honor Waseca police officer shot while on duty

Updated: January 09, 2020 10:16 PM

A prayer service was held at Crossroads Church in Albert Lea Thursday evening.

But anyone, regardless of where they lived, was invited to attend to honor 32-year-old Waseca police officer Arik Matson, his family and all 11,000 people who wear the badge and uniform in Minnesota.


"Keep Arik in your prayers. He's getting stronger everyday," said Megan Matson, Arik Matson's wife.

She told the crowd she found the strength to take the stage and say something knowing each person there had her family's back. A photo of Arik, their two daughters and Megan was on display.

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The service was held in Albert Lea because it's a special place to the Matson family. Arik grew up there and later served on the town's police force with his dad, Tim, who is now retired.

"Arik is slowly improving and better than expected," Tim Matson said in a message Thursday.

Organizers chose the church as a safe space to lift up the Matsons and each other, whether they came from Albert Lea, Waseca or beyond.

"Bring healing and restoration to the community and bring protection to police officers," said Pastor Kaleb Hurley with New Hope Church.

Hurley pointed out the coincidence of the service which happened to be on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. A chaplain called on the hundreds of listeners to honor Minnesota's 11,000 members of law enforcement every day and every night.

Suspect in shooting that critically injured Waseca officer charged

"We pray for the officers that were there Monday night and that are out there right now protecting," Pastor John Mitchum said.

There was even an acknowledgment — although his name wasn't mentioned — of the suspect charged with shooting Matson in the face.

At the end of the service, folks lit their candles and held them up as a show of support. Then Megan Matson offered a final statement.

"Thank you to all law enforcement protecting my home and the officers at the hospital," she said.

Officer Matson is in the ICU at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. He's gone through one surgery, and doctors are waiting for the swelling to recede before determining the next phase of treatment.

Officer Arik Matson. Photo courtesy of the BCA.

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Beth McDonough

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