ODESSA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Odessa officer injured in Saturday’s mass shooting received a hero’s homecoming as he was released from the hospital early Tuesday afternoon.
Corporal James Santana was wheeled through the doors of the Medical Center Hospital greeted by an eager, cheering crowd of law enforcement officers and hospital staff.
Santana was shot in the leg last Saturday during a gunman’s rampage that injured 22 and killed 7. Santana’s hand was also injured in the attack.
Santana graciously fielded questions from reporters from the front seat of the maroon Suburban that would carry him home, he appeared to be in good spirits.
“Thank you for the support. Very appreciated,” said Santana.
The corporal’s brother’s in blue were happy to see him in better health though it’s not certain when he will again don his blues, says OPD Public Information Officer Steve Lesuereur.
“During these troubled times we outstandingly have each other. We all back each other up and it shows the camaraderie between the Odessa police officers,” says Lesuereur.
Hospital staff clapped along with the officers as Santana rode away from the hospital, MCH President and CEO Russell Tippin was among them.
“It doesn’t really take a tragedy like this for [hospital staff] to have hearts for their patients but this one was just special . He’s a hero, man,” said Tippin.