FORT WORTH, Texas - The Fort Worth police officer who was shot by a murder suspect last week left the hospital Wednesday morning with a very warm, supportive send-off.
Officer Xavier Serrano was released from John Peter Smith Hospital as dozens of fellow officers were waiting outside to show their support, including Officer Matt Pearce, who was hurt in a shooting earlier this year.
Officer Serrano was shot three times by Martin Fleece on Friday. Fleece had already shot and killed his father, Carl Fleece, but he told relatives the man shot himself in the head.
Fleece ambushed responding officers from a shed where he was hiding. He hurt Officer Ray Azucena and critically injured Officer Serrano before turning the gun on himself, police said. Azucena was in training and was riding with Serrano when he was shot.
Officer Pearce got the same kind of support when he left the hospital six months ago after he was critically wounded by multiple gunshots. This time, he was on the other side of the line giving his support.
“We've got families and personal lives,” said Pearce. “We don't just live in a uniform all the time. We have to go home too."
"My husband and I have been overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity and thoughtfulness of our friends, family and police family, neighbors and strangers,” said Officer Serrano’s wife, Carolyn.
“We appreciate everyone's thoughts and we ask you to continue praying for Officer Serrano as he continues healing at home by his family,” the Fort Worth Police Department said.
Officer Azucena was shot in the chest, but his protective vest saved him. He was treated and released from the hospital.