Dan Walters, a San Diego Padres catcher-turned-police officer who was paralyzed from the neck down 17 years ago in an on-duty shooting while on patrol in San Diego, died Thursday.
The death of the 53-year-old Walters was announced by the San Diego Police Officers Association. No information on his cause of death was immediately available.
Walters, a Santana High School graduate who played for Padres in 1992 and 1993, joined the San Diego Police Department in 1998, two years after his baseball career ended with the Edmonton Trappers of the Pacific Coast League.
On the night of Nov. 12, 2003, Walters got caught up in a shootout as he and his partner were providing backup for another officer during a traffic stop of a domestic violence suspect on 43rd Street in Southcrest.
Walters was struck in the neck by gunfire and fell to onto the street, where a passing vehicle hit him, leaving him with two crushed cervical vertebrae.
Despite extensive rehabilitation during which he regained some movement in his upper body, Walters had to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, according to the SDPOA.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Padres catcher and San Diego Police Department officer, Dan Walters. Our thoughts are with Dan’s family. pic.twitter.com/o9CnZbbKjy
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 23, 2020
Updated at 12:40 a.m. April 24, 2020
— City News Service
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