PPA officer shot at point-blank range speaks out for 1st time since 2022 incident: 'Surprised to be alive'

Trigger warning: some images and video may be hard to watch. 

Philadelphia Parking Authority Enforcement Officer Tim McKenzie is surprised to be alive after he was shot at point-blank range while on the job a year and a half ago.

He spoke to FOX 29’s Steve Keeley sharing a remarkable story of survival and recovery for the first time since the traumatic shooting. 

Keeley: "What do you remember from that day?"

McKenzie: "Just that the lights went out. I woke up four days later,"

Tim McKenzie woke up in the hospital with a bullet still in his head and in what's called a halo, a device that gets screwed into the skull.

On November 25th, 2022, just one day after Thanksgiving, the PPA officer was shot point-blank from behind while he was working on Frankford Avenue.

Police released the surveillance when looking for the shooter, as everyone wondered how anyone could survive a point blank shot to the back of the head from just a few inches away.

"The bullet went directly in my left ear fractured my C1 vertebrae, completely blew it away, came around, broke my jaw and it sat in my right side of my face was removed March 2nd I was in halo for 12 weeks. My jaw was wired shut for 12 weeks." said McKenzie.

When he woke up his family told him what happened and eventually he saw the surveillance footage that everyone else did.

"Just complete and utter shock," said the PPA officer. "Surprised to be alive still to this day I can't understand how I'm still here."

The bullet would be in his head for 14 more weeks until surgeons could safely remove it 

"It's a blessing to have more time with my daughter and my wife," he said. 

However, since he has gotten out of the hospital, he says it has been even harder.

"Everyday is a struggle. Physically I have constant pain in my neck and my back  I'm still dealing with nerve damage on the whole left side of my face Obviously as you could imagine mentally like forgetting things memory  irritability that's just the physical standpoint    Mentally and emotionally has honestly been worse considering  what I've had to deal with since the incident occurred," said McKenzie.

McKenzie revealed communication from the parking authority has been scarce. 

"I haven't heard from anybody from the parking authority since January 2023"

Keeley: "Is that kind of shocking that they haven't kept up and seen how you're doing?"

McKenzie: "Absolutely. There’s more to it but a phone call and a text goes a long way. I’m a victim in this entire situation and since it happened the parking authority has never once treated me that way."

On top of everything else, the case against Termaine Saulsbury, the man charged with shooting who was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Philadelphia a month after the shooting, is dragging its way through the justice system still, with no trial date set.


Suspect arrested in shootings of PPA officer, NYC gas station employee

Authorities say a man accused of shooting a Philadelphia Parking Authority Officer and a gas station employee in New York City has been taken into custody.

Even after Philly and New York City police identified Saulsbury as the same suspect in the shooting of a store clerk in the Bronx three days before Tim was shot. 

"Right now is a complete struggle mentally and emotionally…I just feel like I'm breathing but I haven't lived since November 25th," said McKenzie.