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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An LMPD officer is once again being called a hero but this time, it's not for fighting crime. Lt. Greg Burns is being credited with coming to the rescue of an elderly widower.
Lt. Burns is also one of the officers involved in a fatal shootout in the Portland neighborhood a little more than a year ago. "That was a crazy day," says Lt. Greg Burns, with LMPD's 2nd Division.
In December of 2011, Lt Greg Burns was one of two officers injured during a fatal shootout with a suspect in the Portland.
Lt. Burns says he "tore some cartilage in my left knee and took some scrap metal to the left side of my face" that day.
Twenty-five-year-old Norman Smith took his own life after firing several shots at police with a high-powered weapon.
"Police officers throughout the country don't survive the encounters that I had," Burns says.
Burns and his fellow officer not only survived the shooting but were also called heroes. He says they were also very lucky.
"You don't get shot at point blank with an assault riffle and survive," Burns says.
Recently, Burns earned the "hero" title again. This time for a much less dangerous assignment.
"I was asked by my boss to perform what we call a welfare check," Burns recalls.
A few weeks ago, Burns stopped by to check on 90-year-old Earl Thomas and discovered the senior citizen needed help.
"I thought he was coming to lock me up," Thomas recalls. "He thought I was hungry and he brought me something to eat."
"He said he didn't need anything but he had a little hesitation in his voice," Burns says. "And that little hesitation in his voice was really all I needed to know I needed to help."
After talking with Thomas, Burns discovered the elderly man had hired someone to repair his kitchen ceiling and roof.
"I found out that he had been scammed for a large amount of money," Burns says.
After paying $1,500 up front, the work was never done. Burns helped Thomas take the case to small claims court.
And Thomas appreciates the help.
"I could look at him and tell he was a good guy," Thomas says.
Burns says he was simply doing his job. "Community service is part of my job; I saw somebody that needed help and I helped them. I mean it was the right thing to do."
And Burns says he will continue to stop in to check on his new friend. "He has got my cell phone number and he has made a friend; I'm going to continue to check on him, and he knows to call me anytime he is in need," says Lt. Burns.
And at 90 years old, Thomas is still sharp and even has a sense of humor. Here's what he says will happen if Lt. Burns doesn't keep his promise. "I'll have him locked up if he don't."
By the way, Thomas has been granted a judgment against the so-called roofer who didn't finish the job but he didn't show up in court. And now police are looking for him.