The transit police officer severely wounded during the hunt for the men who planted bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon was discharged from the hospital on Friday, almost two months after the attack that stunned the nation.
Richard Donohue, 33, an officer with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, left the rehabilitation center where he has been recuperating for the past month. He was escorted by fellow officers as he left Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, according to video from the scene.
Donohue said he was inspired by exercising at the facility with some of the victims of the April 15 bombing.
“We’re all on the same track. We all want to get better,” he said. “We’re all working hard to do so.”
On crutches, Donohue told reporters that he was getting better and could walk a few steps with the help of a cane, but “I have a long way to go” to complete his recovery. The officer, who still has a bullet in his body, said he was hoping to have a bit more independence, sleep in a larger bed, cook and eventually return to work.
He also said he was looking forward to spending time with his pet dog and 7-month-old son.
“I swear, every time I see him, he’s got another tooth,” Donohue said of his son. “He has more teeth than me.”
On April 15, Patriots Day, two bombs, built out of pressure cookers, went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the marathon. Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded.
On April 18, authorities using surveillance images identified Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, as the suspects. They are of Chechen heritage. The identification of the brothers set off the biggest manhunt in the history of metropolitan Boston, which was essentially shut down during the search.
Later that day the suspects killed an MIT police officer, authorities said, in an attempt to steal the officer’s weapon. The suspects then carjacked a vehicle and fled to the suburb of Watertown, where a fierce gunfight between the suspects and police ensued. Officials have said that the suspects tossed crude explosives and opened fire with guns. Officials said hundreds of shots were fired.
Donohue was hit in the leg and seriously injured, though it remains unclear who fired the bullet that struck him. Police said they recovered one handgun at the scene.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was injured in the shootout and was apparently run over by his brother fleeing in the car. Tamerlan was pronounced dead of what his death certificate said was “gunshot wounds of torso and extremities” and “blunt trauma to head and torso.”
The injured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured on April 19, hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown. He faces federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted he could be sentenced to death.
Donohue on Friday told reporters that he doesn’t remember anything about the gun battle in which his femoral artery was severed. He has said in the past that it didn’t matter to him if he was a victim of friendly fire since officers were just doing their jobs during the deadly encounter with the brothers.
Among those accompanying Donohue as he left the center was transit police Chief Paul MacMillan, who said he was looking forward to having Donohue back on duty.
“It’s just a remarkable story that he is where he is today,” MacMillan said. “As soon as he’s ready, we’ve got a uniform for him and we’ll put him to work.”