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

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

With dozens of people gathered on a South Texas highway, Ryland got to gleefully ride home in a fire truck.

Ryland Ward, now 6 years old, was among the 20 people who were injured in the deadly mass shooting that killed 26 churchgoers, including an unborn child, on November 5.

Ward was transported by the same firefighter who met him that awful day that Devin Kelley, 26, walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and opened fire on the approximately 50-member congregation. It was deemed the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Now, after spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and his 6th birthday undergoing medical treatment and recovery, Ward has been discharged from the hospital and will be escorted home in a firetruck by Rusty Duncan, the man who found him in the church after the massacre.

Duncan, a member of the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department, told San Antonio Express-News that he discovered Ward under the body of Ward's stepmother who died in the course of shielding her son from gunfire.

Ryland was rushed to the hospital and soon the young boy's mother reached out to Duncan, the firefighter said.

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

Ward suffered five gunshot wounds-two in his leg, two in his stomach and one in his arm-and had to have multiple surgeries in the weeks the followed.

Duncan said he walked through the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church and "started checking for people's pulses".

Duncan posted on Facebook about the special send-off, and he said he has been overwhelmed with responses.

"The whole time", Duncan said.

"Just happy the Lord brought him home and he's doing good", one emotional Sutherland Springs resident told ABC San Antonio affiliate KSAT. "Total joy. This is our town; this is our family".

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