Michael Gracia, a 24-year-old police officer from Ontario, California, was shot in the head last Sunday night when Stephen Paddock, the perpetrator of the largest mass shooting in modern American history, used modified assault rifles with bump stocks to open fire into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, in Las Vegas.
Gracia was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injury and, in a miraculous three days’ time, took his first steps through the hallways of the hospital, grasping the hand of his fiancée, Summer Clyburn, and showing “steady signs of improvement.”
Clyburn was also shot while trying to shield Gracia, although her injuries were not considered to be life-threatening and she was able to recover quickly. Gracia, on the other hand, has undergone extensive surgery in order to repair the damage.
Sgt. Shelisa Williams, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s legislative liaison, captured the occasion, saying, “Officer Gracia from Ontario Pd, after being shot in the head, is walking #VegasStrong #godisgood.”
In a statement, Ontario Police Sgt. Jeff Higbee said, “Michael is showing steady signs of improvement as time goes on.”
Higbee went on to say, “He was able to get out of the hospital bed and walk the hallways of the hospital today. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers for Michael and his family.”
Although, Gracia and his fiancée were able to recover, we must remember that many others didn’t. It’s also important to ask whether or not this could have been avoided if there were better gun control laws in place…laws that could have prevented this.