UPDATE: Officer Rick Hirshey walks out of Freeman Hospital during HERO send-off

JOPLIN, Mo – According to the Joplin Police Department, doctors released Officer Rick Hirshey from the hospital this morning, giving him a heroic send-off.

Many gathered at Freeman Health System today, March 16th as staff, family and friends wheeled Officer Hirshey to the exit of the hospital.

Here, crowds gave Officer Rick Hershey a standing ovation as he walked to his vehicle with family members.

Joplin Police stated the following:

We are so thankful to all of the Freeman Health System doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and all other employees who took such great care of our officers and personnel over the last week. We thank you so much and are forever grateful. Officer Hirshey still has a long recovery period so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers

During last week’s officer-involved shooting, Officer Hirshey used his police cruiser to impede the now-deceased suspect as he fled the crime scene. Officers say this is when the suspect struck Hirshey with a bullet through his windshield.

Police say Hirshey has been recovering in the hospital since March 8.

Video courtesy of Joplin Police Department.