Officer Timothy Matson of the Pittsburgh Police was a guest of the President during Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Matson was critically wounded in October during a gun battle between the city's SWAT team and a gunman inside the Tree of Life synagogue. (Photo: White House)
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Officer Timothy Matson of the Pittsburgh Police was a guest of the President during Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Matson was critically wounded in October during a gun battle between the city's SWAT team and a gunman inside the Tree of Life synagogue. (Photo: White House)

The White House invited Pittsburgh police Officer Timothy Matson to Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Matson, 41, was part of a SWAT team that exchanged fire with a gunman on the third floor of the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27.

One of five officers wounded or injured at Tree of Life, Matson was shot more than six times inside the synagogue during the attack, which left 11 people dead and seven wounded. He remained in critical condition for days after the shooting.

Pittsburgh Public Safety officials told the Tribune that Matson’s acceptance of the White House invitation had nothing to do with politics.

The department is “honored that Officer Matson, on behalf of all city first responders, is being recognized for his life-saving efforts,” spokesman Chris Togneri said.

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