A photo posted on Twitter showed Tempe Police officer Julie Werhnyak recovering in a hospital bed after she was stabbed during a domestic violence call yesterday afternoon.
The suspect in the stabbing, 26-year-old Matthew Metz died after he was shot by officers inside a Tempe apartment. Police say he tied a woman up and was abusing her.
Officer Werhnyak was the first one in the door when Metz stabbed her.
"She comes with a slate of skills that I would put up against anyone," said Dan Masters.
Masters is a retired Tempe Police officer who worked closely with Werhnyak said she is one of the most qualified officers on the force.
"Didn't surprise me, knowing her work ethic and the skill sets that she has and what sounded like the urgency and the need to get into that apartment to try and rescue that victim that she would be the first on or one of the first ones in the door for sure," he said.
Wehrnyak has a website for self-defense courses specializing in close quarter combat. The 16-year Tempe Police veteran's resume includes Federal Air Marshal Instructor, two-time member of the National Tae Kwon Do team, and police defensive tactics instructor of the year.
"He was there ready to attack, and fortunately her skill set played her role in her surviving and the officers doing what they needed to do to stop the attack and shoot the suspect," said Masters.
Officer Werhnyak posted the following statement: "Thank you for all the well wishes, thoughts, prayers and support. I am doing well but have a lot of recovery time in front of me. I am thankful and relieved the other victim, in this case, will survive her injuries and get an opportunity at a full recover with me. I am also thankful for my fellow officers who did an amazing job yesterday."