Wounded officer released from hospital

March 27, 2012 7:22:53 PM PDT
Chicago Police Officer Del Pearson was released from the hospital Tuesday, eight days after he was shot in the chest.

Officer Pearson went home with the support of his wife and fellow officers. He arrived at Advocate Christ Medical Center last week with a critical bullet wound to the chest. He had lost three quarters of his blood.

"We took him to the operating room," said Dr. Kayle Lee, Advocate Christ Medical Center. "It was apparent that he was bleeding to death. He had a single gunshot wound. It looked like it had gone above his vest. "

Officer Pearson was shot last Monday while responding to a juvenile disturbance. A sergeant on the scene went against his training, putting Pearson in a squad car instead of waiting for an ambulance.

"I saw massive amounts of blood and I said, let's go," said Sgt Christopher Kapa, Chicago Police Department. "As soon as I exited my vehicle, I made the determination immediately to take him to the hospital."

Pearson was stabilized by a crew at Advocate Trinity Hospital, then brought to Christ for the level one trauma treatment where emergency surgery repaired his artery.

"He was very lucky," said Dr. Lee. "It went very close to his spinal cord in and his neck, and in fact, chipped the side of his spine."

Officer Pearson said in a statement: "I want to thank Trinity for doing their best in preparing me and helping me make it to Christ Medical Center for trauma care, and I thank both surgeons who operated on me for what they did in saving my life."

" If he would have told me last Monday that we would be standing here making this announcement, I would have said you're out of your mind, so this is obviously a great day for all of us," said Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department.

Just a few hours earlier, Supt. McCarthy accepted a police honor for Officer Pearson in his absence. It was the 110th such commendation earned by Officer Pearson during his career.

ABC7 has learned Officer Pearson will have another surgery to have the bullet removed. But for now it is not in a dangerous location and he is eager to recuperate at home.