FORT WORTH, Texas — Emotions ran high as injured Haltom City police officers Zach Tabler and Jose Avila left Medical City North Hills Hospital on Friday afternoon.
As paramedics loaded their gurneys into ambulances, injured officer Tim Barton came out in a wheelchair. Just like them, their colleagues are relieved this day has come.
"It's helping a lot of us emotionally," Sgt. Rick Alexander said. "Yeah, it's a relief. You know, we know they have a long road ahead, but we've been up here every day with them."
Over the July 4 weekend, the trio suffered gunshot wounds responding to a domestic violence call. Other police agencies helped make a big deal about them leaving the hospital for rehab.
Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes gave words of encouragement.
Noakes said, "Officers from multiple agencies showed up to support these three heroes who were injured serving their community. It doesn't matter what agency it is, It's a brotherhood, it's a sisterhood."
Businesses like Cowtown Brewery are also supporting the police officers with a fundraiser. It's a dangerous job brewery co-owner Shawn Kidwell knows is not easy to do.
Kidwell is co-owner of Cowtown Brewery in Fort Worth. They have business relationships with law enforcement agencies throughout North Texas.
He didn't hesitate when he got the call to host a fundraiser for the officers and their families. One of the things that amaze Kidwell is how brave police officers are when it comes to running towards danger and answering calls not knowing what they will face when they arrive.
Kidwell said, "It's hard to fathom. I don't know if I could do the same thing. It's an amazing job that they do and the pressures and dangers that they face."
During the fundraiser, Haltom City officer Barton showed up on crutches and joined the many supporters. Fundraiser organizers sold t-shirts and other items to raise money for the three officers and their families.
Police motorcycles escorted the trio from Medical City North Hills hospital. Law enforcement agencies drove in a motorcade across Fort Worth to a rehab center where the injured officers will take that road to recovery one step at a time.
Alexander said, "This is a small step in the healing process for these officers."