MILWAUKEE -- A hero's welcome and a celebratory send-off.
Hundreds of Milwaukee police officers and others who work in public safety saluted Officer Brandon Baranowski, 31, as he was released from Froedtert Hospital on Wednesday.
Baranowski spent four days in the hospital recuperating from an ambush on his squad car Sunday morning.
"I have a long road to recovery ahead of me," Baranowski told TODAY'S TMJ4. "I look forward to rejoining my police family to serve and protect the citizens of Milwaukee. I can't thank you enough for everything."
Investigators say Baranowski had just wrapped up a domestic violence call near 17th and Morgan around 2:00 a.m. Sunday when 20-year-old Tomas Angel Uriengas opened fire on Baranowski in his squad car. Baranowski was struck five times - twice in the arm, twice in the chest, and one bullet gazed across his face.
"I want to express my thanks to the community, law enforcement partners, and all those in the community who have sent their prayers and well wished for support during this difficult time," Baranowski added.
MPD Chief Ed Flynn, Mayor Tom Barrett, and several ranking officers from various departments attended today's salute that included a full honor guard.
"We much prefer meeting at a hospital than at a church (for a funeral)," Chief Flynn told TODAY'S TMJ4. "We are just grateful to God and just grateful that he's back with us and with his family so we can celebrate."
Police say the suspect in the shooting was later found dead from an apparent suicide. MPD announced on Sunday that all officers will now patrol in pairs.