Everett Tedder had less than two months on the police department when an emotionally disturbed man wielding a shotgun shot him at point blank range. He survived, but barely.
In 1967, newly hired officers weren’t sent to the Police Academy right away, and Officer Tedder was working patrol, waiting for his turn to attend the academy when he answered a domestic disturbance call in the 600 block of Escuela. Officers had had previous dealings with the man in question so several cars were sent. Officer Tedder was assigned to approach the rear of the building through a wooded area along El Camino Real. As Tedder made his way through the woods, the man snuck up on him and covered him with his shotgun. He relieved Tedder of his gunbelt and flashlight and marched him back towards the apartment building at shotgun-point. When other officers confronted the man, he shot Tedder in the back of the leg. The muzzle of the shotgun was so close that the blast temporarily cauterized the wound, keeping Tedder from bleeding to death at the scene. Years later, Tedder characterized the wound as looking “…like someone had just dropped a watermelon on the sidewalk.” The suspect was then shot and killed by the other officers.
Tedder was rushed to the hospital, where doctors worked furiously through the night to save his life. When they got him stabilized, they went to work trying to save his leg. Eventually, the question became whether he would ever walk again.
In 1967, no precedent or protocol existed for a situation like this. Tedder’s recovery would go better than anyone could have imagined that first night, but his aftercare and therapy fell to his coworkers. Matrons babysat his children so his wife could visit him at the hospital and later dressed his wounds and provided physical therapy. Other officers helped him swim in the pools at their apartment complexes so he could get the strength back in his leg.
He eventually recovered sufficiently to be able to get around, but he would walk with a limp for the remainder of his life. He was no longer able to work as a police officer, and he became one of the first MVPD officers to be retired on a disability. After the police department, he gravitated to carpentry, and he carved out a successful career for himself in the Redding area.
Amazingly, the experience didn’t make Everett Tedder bitter. He was a delightful man and an excellent storyteller who punctuated his yarns with a robust laugh. He proudly carried MVPD Badge #29 in his wallet for the rest of his life, which he chuckled was “…a good thing because every once in a while, I drive a little faster than I should and I need to show it to the CHP”
In 2009, the Mountain View Police Department bestowed its Purple Heart Award to
Retired Officer Tedder. Although such an award did not exist in 1967, Tedder’s fellow officers lobbied the department on his behalf, and Chief Scott Vermeer presented it to Everett in a formal ceremony attended by many of his former coworkers.
Everett Tedder passed away after a lengthy illness in 2013 at the age of 75.