LA VERNE (CBSLA) — A large crowd cheered when Ontario Police Officer Michael Gracia stepped off the plane.
Friends, family and a few strangers were on hand to welcome him home.READ MORE: Orange County Reaches 5,000 COVID-19 Death Milestone
Garcia was shot in the head during the Las Vegas massacre Sunday evening.
They greeted him with signs and lots of tight hugs. He was all smiles when he arrived — it was obvious he was glad to be home.
CBS2’s Kandiss Crone was there when he landed. And she spoke to his friends and his mother, Renee Gracia.
“Physically he’s okay, his memory is okay. His main thing is his speech and he will recover,” she said.
Michael Gracia has not yet regained the ability to speak — the scar from his gunshot wound visible and a reminder of the ordeal.
Garcia and his fiance were among the 22,000 concert goers when a mad man, a terrorist, started shooting into the crowd.
Summer Clyburn noticed her fiance got hit and put her life on the line to save him.READ MORE: SoFi Stadium Looking To Fill More Than 3,000 Part-Time Positions With Job Fairs Being Held This Month
“Apparently he went down and she jumped on top of him and shielded him from taking another gunshot wound. So she’s a hero,” said Renee
Clyburn was also shot but she’s okay.
In addition to his friends and family, and colleagues officers from surrounding cities also came to show their support.
Ontario Sgt. Bill Russell hadn’t yet spoken with Gracia but had a message.
“I just want to tell him hey, I’m glad your home I’m glad your back and let me knew if I can do anything to help cause I want to be there for you,” Mitchell said.
Gracia’s mother says although her son has a long road of recovery ahead, the fact he can walk is incredible. She says he’s a fighter and they are proud of the progress he’s already made.
“He’s definitely a miracle. Just being in that hospital and seeing all the other families and what they’ve gone through and we just feel blessed.” Renee said.MORE NEWS: Feds: Mustafa Qadiri Of Irvine Used $5 Million In Fraudulent PPP Loans To Buy Ferrari, Bentley, And Lamborghini
Garcia will continue treatment at a local rehabilitation center. His family expects a full recovery.