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Trevor Abney, New Orleans officer who survived French Quarter ambush, has died

Abney will be remembered for his courage, resilience, and miraculous survival following a brutal ambush in October 2020.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Police Department is mourning the death of Trevor Abney, an officer who miraculously survived being shot in the head during an ambush in the French Quarter more than two years ago.

Sources close to the family confirmed Abney's death to WWL-TV on Monday. He died from complications related to a bullet wound suffered in the ambush.

Abney will be remembered for his courage, resilience, and miraculous survival following a brutal ambush in October 2020 that left him blind in his left eye and with a constant fear of a deadly seizure or stroke.

Abney was shot in the face while sitting inside his patrol car by a man who opened fire from the back of a pedicab. Authorities would later describe the shooting as an "ambush." Abney was rushed to the hospital and remained conscious during his treatment, even as doctors worked to save his life.

Despite the life-threatening injury, Trevor was able to recover with the 40-caliber bullet with full metal jacket lodged behind his left eye socket, too dangerous to remove. 

"I definitely got a little more religious after that," Abney said, in an interview with former WWL-TV anchor Karen Swensen in 2021. "That's not just pure luck. For it to wiggle its way around all that and not cause massive hemorrhaging, there's something else going on there. So I've definitely been doing a lot more praying that I did before."

His recovery was extensively covered by Swensen in her story "Surviving the Ambush: The Trevor Abney Story."

Interim New Orleans Police Superintendent Michelle Woodfork issued the following statement regarding Abney's death:

All of us here at the New Orleans Police Department are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Senior Police Officer Trevor Abney.

It is always difficult to receive the news of the passing of a fellow officer. Officer Abney was a valued member of the police department who served the community with compassion and professionalism. During his eight years with the department, Officer Abney received a commendation for exemplary performance in the line of duty that saved the life of a citizen as well as the Purple Heart Medal for injuries received in the line of duty.

Officer Abney joined the New Orleans Police Department in 2015. Upon completion of the Academy, he was assigned as a field recruit in the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth districts. In December 2015, he began his permanent assignment in the Eighth District where he continued to serve with distinction until he was wounded. His presence will be greatly missed by all his fellow officers as well as people in the community.

Our most sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Abney during this tragic and difficult time.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement on Abeny's passing:

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of New Orleans Senior Police Officer Trevor Abney, who died unexpectedly yesterday. My deepest condolences to his family and to the New Orleans Police Department - both of whom have lost a man cherished, loved and dedicated. A decorated public servant, Officer Abney will be greatly missed by his peers, family members and the City of New Orleans.

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