FORT WORTH -- It was a moment of joy and relief.
After withstanding multiple gunshot wounds, one surgery, and five days in the hospital, Fort Worth Police Officer Xavier Serrano went home. He exited the hospital to a line of officers applauding him.
"Over the past several days, my husband and I have been overwhelmed by the compassion, generosity and thoughtfulness of our friends, family, police family, neighbors and strangers," said Serrano's wife, Carolyn, as she read a prepared statement to the media immediately after her husband was released.
It was the third time in just four months a Fort Worth officer was released from JPS Hospital after being shot in the line of duty.
Saturday, Probationary Officer Ray Azucena waved as he was released after being shot at the same scene as Serrano. Serrano is his field training officer.
And in May, Officer Matt Pearce left JPS Hospital after a lengthy treatment. He took five bullets during a police chase in March.
We asked the hospital's CEO, Robert Earley, about the noticeable number of officers being brought to JPS.
"As a Level One trauma center, you take care of the toughest of the tough, so when a police officer comes in, a firefighter comes in, it certainly tugs at our emotions," he said.
Wednesday's events were emotional for Pearce, too.
It was hard for him to believe that so soon after his own tragedy, he was back here in the same place -- this time, supporting fellow officers.
"I got asked the question the day this all happened, on Friday, 'Why was I here?'" Pearce said. "I think the better question is, 'Why would I not be here?'"
Pearce, speaking from personal experience, says recovery will be a challenge.
"Concentrating on getting better, that’s the hardest thing," he said.
And while police acknowledge these scenarios aren't unique to Fort Worth, they do say the support they've felt each time something like this has happened is unique.
"We want you to know we hear you and we feel your love, and we are in this together," Sgt. Marc Povero said.
Neither Azucena nor Serrano have a scheduled return-to-work date, Povero said. He said they will focus on getting better at home.
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