Boy shot in Texas church massacre will finally leave hospital today

Melissa Salinas and her family and friends decorated a truck to welcome Ryland Ward home from the hospital. Terrie Smith right and other neighbors peer down the road in anticipation of his arrival Jan. 11

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A firetruck from University Medical Center in San Antonio drove Ryland Ward to his home 30 miles away in Sutherland Springs after a two-month stay in the hospital, reports say, with the lights on, the siren blaring and the horn tooting.

Among the 26 fatalities in the shooting was Ryland's stepmother, JoAnne Ward, who died while shielding Ryland.

Crosses in remembrance of Joann Ward and Brooke Ward killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S., November 9, 2017. It was deemed the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Volunteer firefighter Rusty Duncan was one of the first responders to the church shooting and recalls finding Ryland.

Many got emotional at the sight of the convoy bringing Ryland home. "So I picked him up and took him outside", Duncan said.

"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.

He told ABC News that "Ryland's hand reached out from under his stepmom and grabbed my pant leg".

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Duncan said he continued to visit the little boy at the hospital, including this week.

Today, the final victim recovering in the hospital, a six-year-old boy, got to ride home in style.

"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".

"He's starting to walk again", she said. "People at the hospital were nice and everything, but he turned 6 years old and had Christmas in there, and he just wanted to get out and get back to being kid", Earl McMahan, Ward's great-uncle, told UPI.

"I was going to buy balloons at H-E-B (grocery store), but they donated them to me", Janie Boren said. "So I'm happy for him even though I'm crying, I'm happy he's coming home", said Del Bauer who lives near Sutherland Springs.

Ward is finally home.

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