Brian Kelly/ Brett Blume

FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) – The family of the Florissant police officer shot last weekend has been told by doctors, that he is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Fellow Florissant officer Andy Haarman got the news Thursday afternoon, “His life as he knew it on Sunday is totally different now.”

Haarman says Vernon began rehab Thursday, and he is bound and determined to recover as much as he can, “He’s very strong. He’s a fighter when he comes to this stuff so he’ll do everything he can, everything his body will let him do, to get back to whatever strength he can.”

Vernon was shot while investigating a burglary. Brian Cannon Junior is charged with the shooting.

Meanwhile, the Florissant Police Department is putting out a warning about a phone scam that attempts to play on sympathy for Vernon.

“They always seem to come out of the woodwork,” Haarmann told KMOX News Thursday morning. “Just within the past couple of hours we’ve been receiving phone calls from area residents, five or six already, saying that they’re receiving phone calls from a person who has identified himself as a Florissant police officer.”

The caller then solicits a donation, asking that it be mailed to an address in Jefferson City, Mo.

This person is a fraud, said Haarmann — they are NOT soliciting donations for Officer Mike Vernon by phone.

“People should just be very leery in general with people who just make a cold call soliciting monetary donations,” according to Haarmann.

The police department is, however, accepting donations for Officer Vernon.

Those can be made to:

Florissant Police Welfare Association C/O Officer Mike Vernon 1700 North Highway 67 Florissant, Mo. 63033

Haarmann called this an especially egregious attempt to scam money out of people concerned over the welfare of Officer Vernon, who was shot three times by a fleeing burglary suspect.

“It’s been a hard week for all the members of the Florissant police department and for the community in general,” Haarmann said, “and then you have this person who’s trying to take advantage of just a really bad situation.”


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