DENVER -- The second Denver officer wounded in a recent shooting was released from the hospital Friday. Officer Steve Gameroz left Denver Health Medical Center to cheering crowds. The other officer who was shot, Officer Richard Jaramillo, was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Gameroz and Jaramillo were wounded in the shooting at 6th Avenue and Inca Street Sunday.
“He’s had a tough week. To be injured so severely and to know he’s going home in such a short period of time, it is very, very emotional," Deputy Chief Barb Archer said.
Officer Gameroz's police academy classmates were on hand and cheered as the officer left Denver Health Friday.
“He’s a great guy. It means the world for you to be here today. I’m glad his recovery is going well... great to see him doing so well in his recovery," Officer John McAndrews said.
“Just trying to get him back in action as soon as possible, so definitely means a lot for his recovery. He was one of my best friends in the academy. He was always helping people in the academy. He has already been recognized for helping out. He is always trying to help out as much as he can. It’s great to help him out for once," Officer Christopher Logan said.
His father said his story of survival was nothing short of a miracle.
“First of all, I’m very happy about this big miracle from God. I spent my time all this week praying to God to get him back for us. I believe he listened to us and [is] happy from him," Jesus Gameroz said. “I am thankful. I don’t have the words to say... thankful. I am thankful for everybody and my son. I think I owe God something, even my life because he kept my son alive.”
Officer Jaramillo returned to see his colleague walk out of the hospital.
“Feeling great, thank you. He’s an amazing person -- super strong, tough as nails, so it wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t here, regardless if I was injured or not, just here to show your support. The real miracle is the staff here at Denver Health Medical Center. What they were able to do is beyond amazing. You want to talk about true heroes... you should probably talk to the staff here, because the things they did were just miraculous," Jaramillo said.
He said it was a little overwhelming walking out of the hospital on Thursday.
“It was a little emotional. Just as a patrolman, you don’t expect that kind of support. Even though I’ve been on for 12 years, I probably only know a fraction of the people here now. To see all them all cheer me on as I walked out, just as they are going to cheer Steve on when he walks out, is just an amazing thing. So, I wanted to be here for Steve. 100 percent," Jaramillo said.
Doctors at Denver Health said both officers are making remarkable recoveries.
“If you think about it, we are taking care of the people who keep us safe every single day," said Barry Platnick, the director of trauma services. “These officers were shot in the torso. That’s the kill zone. They came here, critically injured, taken immediately to the trauma bay and operating room. We are extremely lucky here to have one of the best trauma centers in the world in Denver, in our own back yard. We are honored and fortunate to be taking care of our officers. When you get shot in the chest or abdomen, getting to the hospital is questionable. Getting out of the hospital is really questionable. This is a success.”