A double-amputee Marine veteran who works as a police officer kept true to his mission of defending citizens against criminals like he defended his country, thwarting a suspected gunman at a Long Island strip club on Saturday.
Officer Matias Ferreira with the Suffolk County Police Department responded to the Mirage Gentleman’s Club in Farmingdale on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. after receiving reports about a fight breaking out in the club’s parking lot.
Ferreira, who is the first double-amputee officer on the police force and in the nation, rushed into action when he saw the suspected gunman take the gun out of his holster and fire at the strip club, police said.
The officer ordered the gunman to place his weapon on the ground before taking him into custody.
Authorities then charged Greg Goodley, 25, with multiple weapons possession charges— including criminal weapons possession, reckless endangerment, and criminal use of a firearm.
But there is more to Ferreira’s story than meets the eye.
Ferreira lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), also breaking his femur and pelvis in the process. After undergoing months of surgeries and rehabilitation, Ferreira got back on his feet like he never did before.
In true comeback kid fashion, he finished the Disney Half Marathon in 2012 in just under four hours— one year after his accident. Ferreira’s rise-from-the-ashes tale continued after he witnessed a car crash and rushed in to save a baby from the burning vehicle.
“I heard a bang. A dump truck collided with a car, and the car was smoking,” Ferreira told Men’s Health. “I ran up without thinking. A woman was yelling, ‘My baby’s in the backseat!’ I grabbed a flashlight to see inside. The baby was unconscious. My daughter had the same car seat, so I knew where all the buttons were. I pulled the baby out.”
The incident prompted Ferreira to enroll in the Suffolk County Police Academy in 2016, where he graduated towards the top of his class.
One year later, Ferreira joined the Suffolk County Police force to keep the peace in his own backyard after fighting for peace overseas in years past. Since then, Ferreira’s heroic efforts on and off the battlefield have not gone unrecognized.
In November 2018, the nonprofit Homes for Our Troops presented Ferreira with a fully-customized four-bedroom home built for his needs— so he could live as independently at home as he does while serving on the force.