Wounded Milwaukee police officer leaves hospital, is saluted


MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee police officer who was shot and wounded by a domestic violence suspect was saluted by hundreds of law officers as he left the hospital Wednesday.

Officer Brandon Baranowski thanked his fellow officers, among others, as he left Froedtert Hospital, where he had been treated since being shot early Sunday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/29NU6w2 ) reported.

“I want to express my thanks to the community, law enforcement partners and all those who have given me and my family the support, prayers and well-wishes during this difficult time,” Baranowski said. “This truly means a lot to me, especially to have you here today.”

The 31-year-old officer was ambushed and shot in the arm and chest early Sunday while responding to domestic violence calls. Authorities say the suspect, 20-year-old Tomas Uriegas of West Allis, killed himself shortly afterward. The shooting happened hours before three police officers were killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Baranowski gave special thanks to the police and firefighters who helped him immediately after, as well as the doctors and staff at the hospital who cared for him.

“I have a long road to recovery ahead of me,” said Baranowski, who left the hospital wearing his right arm in a cast and sling. “I look forward to rejoining my police family to serve and protect the citizens of Milwaukee.”

Baranowski, a 13-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was joined by his wife, two young sons and his parents.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn presented Baranowski with the department’s Purple Valor award, given to department members seriously injured while on duty.

Since the weekend shootings, Flynn has ordered all Milwaukee patrol squads to be staffed by two officers on all shifts for now. The Milwaukee Police Association, which represents about 1,600 rank-and-file officers, has called for the move to be permanent.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com