ST. CHARLES (KMOX) – Matt Crosby called it his “dream home,” talking about the plans for a 5,000 square-foot handicap-accessible home being build in the St. Charles County area. It’s been nearly eight years since the former Rock Hill Police Officer was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty. But fundraising and donations have made this home a reality.
“I just told them (I needed a home) where I could get around, wider doorways was really all I wanted. Then when they came back with the plans for this house I was blown away,” Crosby says. “I was in shock, it’s amazing.”
The project, led by Schaub & Srote Architects in Kirkwood, is a ranch-style home for Crosby and his two sons. It will sit on a wooded site adjacent to a man-made pond and is expected to be finished in December of this year.
The pond, Crosby say, will be stocked with plenty of bass, catfish and crappie, “Good eating fish.”
Architect Robet Srote is helping to design and build the home and says it will end up measuring nearly 5,000 square feet.
“It sounds large,” he says. “But again to accommodate Matt’s needs we had to build larger hallways and wider rooms to allow for the turning radius of his wheelchair.”
Jim Silvernail, a director with the police support group known as Backstoppers, says former officer Matt Crosby’s case was designated as being a “catastrophic injury”, one of ten that the local area has seen since the category was created about three decades ago.
“Our latest one is (Arnold police officer) Ryan O’Connor,” he points out. “That’s defined as an injury in which a person probably won’t go back to work. It’s really bad.”
Since January 2017, hundreds of residents and area businesses have been raising funds and pledging materials and labor donations to build Matt a handicap-accessible home for him and his two boys, Luke and Ian. While the home construction has begun, the job of raising funds continues.
“From the day I got shot, up until now they are still doing fundraisers,” Crosby says. “Everybody has had a part in this. Whether you’re McCarthy (Building Companies) and you own the company or are doing a whole bunch of labor, or donated materials or you’re a resident and attended one of my fundraisers and bought a t-shirt.
“I’m just so thankful for each and every person, from the bottom to the top.”
“We’ve actually sited the site of the house directly adjacent to it so he can actually enjoy the pond from his back deck and even throw a fishing line out and do a little fishing from his back porch,” Schaub says.
The builders says donations are still needed to help complete the home, you can help by donating to www.crosbycrew.org.
In April 2010, Crosby was wounded while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Rock Hill. A bullet struck Crosby in the left shoulder and lodged in his spine, leaving him paralyzed.
Then 39-year-old George Jones of St. Louis County man, was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting. He pleaded no contest to assault and other charges at trial in July 2012.