Ryland Ward, a 6-year-old boy shot in the Sutherland Springs Church massacre, will leave the hospital triumphantly by firetruck Thursday after months of surgery.
Well wishers wave as Ryland Ward, who was shot during a November 5, 2017, church shooting, returns home after his release from the hospital in the cab of a fire engine January 11, 2018, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. "He loved seeing all the firetrucks on the overpasses". Ward isn't just any 6-year-old, and it wasn't just any trip home.
CBS News reports Duncan is the one who found Ryland in the church after the shooting.
Ryland was shot 5 times on a Sunday morning sitting with his family at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Twenty-six people were killed, including Ryland's stepmother, Joann Ward, and his two sisters, Brooke Ward, 5, and Emily Garza, 7, according to the Associated Press.
"I was just checking for survivors, and I felt a little tug on my pant leg", Duncan told the San Antonio Express-News.
Duncan said he is overwhelmed by the support for the idea.
"As soon as we got him outside, his dad [Chris Ward] ran up to me and said, 'They killed my baby.' And I told his dad, 'No, he's not dead, he's still alive, '" Duncan said.
"I met with her and talked to her then I was actually able to go to the hospital and see him for the first time", about a week after the shooting, Duncan said. "We just had a connection", Duncan said.
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Ryland's grandmother, Sandy Ward, told ABC News that Ryland is trying to walk but keeps dragging his left foot and he also has limited use of his hip.
Duncan visited Ward in the hospital nearly every Sunday. He's kept me going this whole time.
Some members of the Sutherland Springs community welcomed Ryland home as he passed through town on the fire truck.
Ryland lost three of his relatives in the shooting.
The Wilson County Fire Department will bring Ward home in one of its fire trucks.
They lined the streets on the way to Sutherland Springs to cheer him on as he made his way down the highway.
Ryland Ward, 6, a survivor of the Sutherland Springs church shooting, rides home in a fire department truck on January 11, 2018.