Off-duty Chicago cop, Army vet paralyzed after shooting released from hospital

Danny Golden, a Chicago officer who was shot and paralyzed last weekend, has been released from the hospital in good spirits

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Chicago police officer and Army veteran Danny Golden, who was shot and paralyzed from the waist down last weekend in Beverly, was released from the hospital Friday and will now undergo rehabilitation. 

His father, Patrick Golden, told Fox News Digital that he was shaved, smiling and "feeling like a million bucks" ahead of his release. He also praised the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab as "the best of the best."

Danny Golden, a six-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department's homicide gang unit, was with friends at the Brewbakers bar in Beverly, a middle-class neighborhood in Chicago's south side, on June 9 when a fight broke out. The shooting occurred just over a mile away from where Fox News analyst Gianno Caldwell's 18-year-old brother was fatally shot on June 24. 

The 32-year-old attempted to deescalate the situation, at which point three suspects allegedly began firing their weapons, paralyzing Golden from the waist down.

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"We have to stop this senseless violence in the United States and the city of Chicago," Patrick Golden told Fox News Digital on Thursday. "Here you have a kid who served his country in the Army … and then somebody was out there with a fully automatic handgun shoots him in the back. It paralyzes him for the rest of his life. This has to stop. People are getting slaughtered all over the United States of America. It has to stop."

The former officer described his son as outgoing, positive and caring with a love for both his country and his community. He is also one of seven children and the oldest of six boys.

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"He's a good kid, and I think he deserved better. He said, ‘Why did this happen?’ I said, 'I don't know why, Danny.' I don't know why God lets this happen, but there's a reason. And we're going to learn from this. He's a third-generation police officer, and I'm very proud of him," the elder Golden said.

Danny Golden, an Army veteran, was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division for Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

Danny Golden, an Army veteran, was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division for Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.  (Patrick Golden)

Danny was recently engaged with plans to get married in October.

"I hope they moved the date up, because she is an unbelievable young lady," Patrick Golden said of Danny's fiancée, Casey Szaflarski. "She's a rock. And I know she'll be able to do this. She's about two months away from graduating from nursing school herself."

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In a Facebook post, Szaflarski pressed Chicago city leaders, saying they have "divided and separated and ripped away the city more then [sic] ever in the history of Chicago! DO SOMETHING! There needs to be a change!"

Three suspects have been charged in connection to the June 9 shooting. 

Chicago officer Danny Golden poses with nurses.

Chicago officer Danny Golden poses with nurses. (Patrick Golden)

Prosecutors have charged Bryant Hayes, 22, and Justen Krismantis, 22, with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated use of a weapon, according to FOX 32 Chicago. Prosecutors have also charged Demetrius Harrell, 28, with shooting the weapon in the direction of Golden and others outside the bar, the outlet reported.

Superintendent Brown said during a Thursday press conference that the police department continues to "reach out to the family for any kind of assistance from a department standpoint and from a city standpoint."

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He added that he has visited the hospital where Danny was being treated and expressed his "condolences for the injury" and offered "support going forward in bringing" those involved "to justice."

Patrick Golden hopes the tragedy will incite change, not only in their community but throughout Chicago and the country. A GoFundMe titled "Danny Golden Support Fund" has raised more than $1 million as of Thursday afternoon. Patrick Golden says the funds with help with medical expenses, a home and a vehicle for Danny now that he will not have the ability to walk again.