Officer Michael Talley

Officer Michael Talley

A St. Paul police officer who survived being shot in the face during a standoff in January is being recognized Saturday by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Officer Michael Talley will receive "the first responder citation" plaque from the group for his work that day. Talley was shot by a suicidal man about three inches below his right eye. He has since returned to work as a patrol officer in the Central District.

"I'm really happy, and I'm honored to give him the award," said Wally Lind, a Purple Heart recipient who coordinates the first responder awards.

Talley was injured when police responded to a welfare on Robert S. Wood. Authorities later described the subsequent standoff at Wood's St. Paul home on Lyton Place near the Oakland Cemetery as an apparent "suicide by cop."

Wood allegedly shot Talley with a Benjamin Trail XL .25-caliber air rifle purchased online. Authorities said that the weapon was dangerous and could have killed Talley. 

Wood has been charged in the shooting, and is awaiting a hearing to determine his mental fitness to stand trial.

The awards are given to first responders across the country who are injured or killed in the line of duty, or involved in "hostile action" whether or not they are veterans.

"I guess it's just our way of showing our appreciation for the people who put their bodies and their lives on the line for us every day," Lind said. "We feel some kinship to them because we were hurt serving as well."

Talley will be recognized along with officers from other departments at 8:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport South.

The group will recognize other officers at an October ceremony, including Mendota Heights officer Scott Patrick, who was fatally shot in 2014 while making a traffic stop.