HIS face a mask of blood, this is the heroic police officer shot at point-blank range by Raoul Moat.
The horrific photograph of PC David Rathband, 42, was taken shortly after he was gunned down while on patrol in his marked car.
Injured: PC David Rathband was shot in the face
He asked for it to be released to the public in the hope that it might help the hunt for the killer who shot him in cold blood. 'Catch the man responsible,' he told colleagues.
The PC was sitting in the driver's seat when Moat approached him from the passenger side and blasted him twice in the face and chest with a shotgun.
Despite his horrendous injuries the officer, who is married with two children, managed to radio his colleagues and raise the alarm. PC Rathband, who has been in the force for ten-andahalf years, remained in a critical but stable condition in Newcastle General Hospital last night.
The photograph, taken before he underwent surgery, shows him in intensive care, wires attached to his chest and stomach.
Surgical dressing patches a wound on his left shoulder, whilst further bandaging around his neck is clearly drenched in his blood.
His head leaning to one side, shrapnel wounds pepper his face as blood trickles down his chin and on to his chest.
PC Rathband was shot as he sat in his marked police car at the roundabout joining the A1 and the A69 at East Denton, in Newcastle, at 12.45am on Sunday.
Just 12 minutes earlier, his attacker had telephoned 999 to tell police he was going to shoot dead one of their officers.
Although the conversation lasted six minutes, Moat's position could not be traced.
PC Rathband, who has a son, Ashley, 16, and daughter, Mia, 12, with his wife Kath, was on static patrol duty when he was attacked.
Fifty minutes later, Moat called police again with the mocking message: 'Now are you taking me seriously?'
Temporary Chief Constable Sue Simm, who visited the officer in hospital yesterday, praised his 'extreme bravery'.
She said: ''Despite being seriously injured David demonstrated extreme bravery by alerting his colleagues and even managed to give fellow officers vital information about the incident which has proved invaluable.
'I have nothing but absolute admiration for David. He acted in the best traditions of the police service, showing outstanding bravery in what must have been a terrifying situation.
'At his request we are releasing a photograph of his injuries before he received treatment.' "
Police have said the officer could lose the sight in both eyes.
[ ] Pc Rathband, a 42-year-old father of two, said: "I bear no malice towards the man who shot me, but now wish to move on with my life.
"My injuries are life changing. It will require significant adjustments in the future in all aspects of my life.
"I enjoy my job as a police officer and I am totally committed to serving the public.
"Although I face long-term treatment, I am determined to return to duty as a police officer."
PC Rathband has undergone facial reconstructive surgery at Newcastle General Hospital and is now off the critical list.
Pc Rathband was shot the following day (4 July).
He said the officers who came to his aid had helped to save his life.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me, in particular those officers who came to my immediate aid at the scene and helped to save my life," he said.
"All the medical and nursing staff who have cared for me have been fantastic and I am indebted to them.
"I am grateful to all those officers from many forces who have helped me and my family during the last week and to my own shift of officers who have given me their full support.
"I am acutely aware of the impact events have had on many people and my thoughts are with them all, particularly the family of Chris Brown."