Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Sutherland Springs shooting victim Ryland Ward, 5, headed home this week

Firetruck delivers 5-year-old survivor of church shooting home to Sutherland Springs Ryland Ward, 6-year-old wounded in Texas church shooting, heading home from hospital on fire truck
Melinda Barton | 12 January, 2018, 16:55

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.

Ryland spent almost three months in the hospital for injuries he sustained in the Texas church massacre.

Ryland was shot 5 times on a Sunday morning sitting with his family at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

The youngest shooting victim in a gunman's November assault on a Texas church finally got to go home this week. Ryland lost two of his three sisters and his stepmother, Joann Ward, in the massacre.

The community can gather on the highway's shoulders in the grassy areas to welcome Ryland home but have been asked to give the Ward family privacy once law enforcement officials arrive at Sutherland Springs.

"No matter how much pain he was in, you could never see it", Duncan said. "I started crying. It's wonderful to be in a small town and we love our children".

"The whole time I was with him, he was conscious and staring up at me".

Ward stared up at Duncan with "glassy eyes" and kept staring, wordlessly, as Duncan picked him up and carried him to the ambulance.

Duncan told KENS 5 that he received the news from Ryland's mother and father. "We just had a connection", Duncan said. "Of course with my help, but he walked", he said. And it wasn't just locals who came to celebrate.

Ryland's grandmother, Sandy Ward, told ABC News that Ryland is trying to walk but keeps dragging his left foot and he also has limited use of his hip.

According to University Hospital, Ryland was the facility's final patient from the Sutherland Springs shooting.

"Just happy the Lord brought him home and he's doing good", one emotional Sutherland Springs resident told ABC San Antonio affiliate KSAT.