Texas Church Shooting Survivor Ryland Ward Finally Goes Home

Nellie Chapman
January 12, 2018

After months of recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered in the Sutherland Springs church shooting, 6-year-old survivor Ryland Ward was released Thursday from University Hospital.

Duncan, assistant chief of the Stockdale Fire Department, told ABC News that he pulled Ryland to safety.

Ryland's mother reached out to Duncan soon after he was rushed to the hospital.

Ryland was among the 20 people who survived the shooting attack by a gunman at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.

People from across South Texas lined the streets to welcome to the boy home.

A spokesperson with the University Health System said Ryland is the last patient to be released from its care and some members of the Sutherland Springs community will be on hand to welcome him home.

"He's doing great", Duncan said.

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Ryland's stepmother Joann Ward and his sisters, 5-year-old Brooke Ward and 7-year-old Emily Garza, died in the shooting.

"I'm very happy he's home", Ward said. "I rolled her over and grabbed him and started running outside with him". "I went in and looked around, went up and down the aisles and when I came back he was on the ground under his mom and I felt a little tug on my pant leg, he was holding on to it", Duncan said.

"The whole time I was with him, he was conscious and staring up at me".

Duncan told KHOU he has been overwhelmed by the response to his Facebook post about the special send-off. "We just had a connection", Duncan said.

"Hey everyone! Ryland is getting out of the hospital This Thursday and I'll be picking him up in our Big Red Fire Truck like he wants!"

Duncan made a promise to Ryland for the day he gets out of the hospital.

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