Chicago police officer Del Pearson left Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn on Monday, just a week after taking a bullet to the chest.
"This is just a great day. I can't believe it. If you'd have told me last Monday that we'd be standing here today making this announcement, I would have said you were out of your mind," said police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
Pearson was surrounded by friends, family and saluting officers as he left the hospital in a wheelchair and was assisted into a waiting car. He declined to speak publicly, but doctors recalled how critical his condition was when he was brought in a week ago.
Pearson, an eight-year veteran assigned to the South Chicago District, reportedly lost two-thirds of the blood in his body and had emergency surgery.
"He was very lucky. [The bullet] went very close to his spinal cord in his neck, and in fact just chipped the side of his spine, but he's doing well," explained Dr. J. Kayle Lee.
Doctors said Pearson will need another surgery to remove the bullet that's still lodged near his spine but expect Pearson to make a full recovery. It'll be months before Pearson is well enough to return to work.
A 20-year-old Chicago man, Paris Sadler, is being held in jail in connection with the shooting. Another man, Paris Fortune, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Fortune has prior felony convictions and was not allowed to own firearms.