CAPE CORAL, Fla.-An admitted cop shooter will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Yousel Rivera was found guilty of attempted murder in August, and on Monday, a judge formally sentenced him to life.
Rivera was convicted of shoot Cape Coral police officer David Wagoner during a traffic stop in April, 2011. Wagoner was wearing a bullet-proof vest and survived the shooting.
Officer Wagoner gave a victim impact statement before the ruling Monday morning. Officer Wagoner opened by saying, "On April 16th 2011, Yousel Rivera attempted to kill me and to take away all that I love in this world."
Wagoner spoke slowly, never looking at the man convicted of trying to kill him. Wagoner told the court it took him seven months to return to full duty following the shooting.
"I have sustained permanent physical damage as a result of the gunshot wounds that continue to cause pain and require treatment and therapy," he said.
Wagoner described the emotional pain his family has suffered over the last two and a half years.
"I have observed their loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and most of all loss of feeling a sense of safety in our own home," he said.
Officer Wagoner was choked up while talking about the stress and anxiety his children have endured.
"While our oldest child is dealing with great anger, and being an angry person now, our two young children deal with many fears that we never saw in them before. Each of them deal with ongoing triggers of the incident. Thunder reminds them of gunshots. Sirens remind them of the shooting and me being in the hospital. The color purple reminds them of the shooter, etc," he said.
Wagoner also told the judge he recieved threats online and even in person during the course of the 10-day trial.
"My family has become aware of those wishing I would have died in the shooting," he said.
Yousel Rivera admitted to pulling the triggers, but his defense attorneys claimed he suffered a seizure.
Rivera's family was in court for the sentencing today, but denied requests for comment from WINK News.
"By the grace of God and those who helped me that night, Mr. Rivera's selfish and heinous act did not accomplish his goals to take my life," Wagoner said.
As part of the mandatory life sentence, Rivera will not be eligible for parole. He has 30 days to file an appeal.