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Winston-Salem officer shot in 2016 named Officer of the Year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Officer Nicholas Powell says he has a lot to be grateful for.

“I'm just thankful for my family, my wife, the police department," Powell said.

Most of all, he's thankful for his life.

It's been more than a year since Powell had a close call during a routine traffic stop on Business 40 in Winston-Salem.

"I was doing my job,” Powell said. “I was not trying to be Superman or anything, just doing my job."

On Jan. 4, 2016, Powell was one of several officers called for backup, after police pulled a car over for speeding and smelled marijuana.

While police conducted a search, one of the men got back in the car and tried to drive off, according to police.

“Vehicle took off with me still in the car,” Powell said.

Powell was dragged for approximately a quarter of a mile.

"We struggled in the car,” he said. “Once it stopped, he reached for a firearm and shot me four times.”

"Once in both arms, once in the chest in the vest, and once in the armpit area,” Powell said.

The whole time, Powell says he was thinking of his family.

"Biggest thing was make it home to my wife, see her in the morning,” he said.

More than a year later, along with having his strength back, Powell is being recognized by his fellow officers.

On Wednesday, he was named Winston-Salem Police Officer of the Year for 2016 along with receiving the Medal of Merit.

"He risked his life numerous times,” said Lt. Brian Dobey. “He performed well and well-deserves the award."

"It's surprising,” Powell said. “It feels good though, kind of feels like big shoes to fill."

Gary Giovon Lynn is in Forsyth County Detention Center with no bond in connection with the incident.

Lynn is charged with attempted murder in the first degree, weapons possession by a felon and speeding to elude arrest among other charges.