"I can't thank you enough:" Officer Brandon Baranowski released from hospital

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police Officer Brandon Baranowski was released from Froedtert Hospital on Wednesday, July 20th after treatment for a gunshot wound. He left the hospital with his family at his side -- and salutes from fellow officers on the Milwaukee Police Department as well as friends.

Baranowski was emotional as he read the following brief statement:

"I want to express my thanks to the community, law enforcement partners and all of those who have given me and my family the support, prayers and well wishes during this difficult time. It truly means a lot to me -- especially to have you here today. I want to give a special thanks to the police officers, detectives, firefighters who helped me on Sunday morning and since this incident. A special thanks goes to the Froedtert doctors and staff who have worked tirelessly to care for me and start my road to recovery. I have a long road of recovery ahead of me and look forward to rejoining my police family to serve and protect the citizens of Milwaukee. I can't thank you enough for everything."

Officer Brandon Baranowski released from the hospital

Baranowski's father also spoke as his son was released from the hospital.

Michael Baranowski

"Just very grateful. My son deserves this. You dread that phone call. That phone call came at three o'clock in the morning. I don't wish that on anybody," Michael Baranowski said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said after recent incidents across the country, including in Dallas and Baton Rouge, it's important to remember that police officers are a critical part of the community.

"The men and women of this police department are the sons and daughters of these communities. They`re intimately connected to the world they professionally inhabit. They are our collective sons and daughters every bit as much as those uniformed people we deploy overseas.  And so this is a moment to recognize that," Flynn said.

There was a police motorcycle escort as Baranowski and his family headed home from the hospital.

Baranowski was shot while investigating a domestic violence call near 17th and Morgan on the city's south side early Sunday.

He was seated alone in his patrol car when a suspect, now identified as 20-year-old Tomas Uriegas, approached on foot and fired a gun into the squad, striking the officer five times. Two bullets pierced his arm. Two were wedged in his bullet resistant vest and another grazed his face.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

Roughly a half-hour later, a gunshot was heard near where this incident took place. Uriegas was found -- he had shot and killed himself.

"He was saved by his vest, basically. He was shot more than once and sustained some injuries that require surgery but he was shot in his vest at least one or two times and the vest saved his life," said William Jessup, MPD assistant chief earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn visited Officer Baranowski in the hospital -- and presented him with MPD’s Purple Valor Award.

The Milwaukee Police Department has begun sending out officers in two-person squad units. It’s not clear how long this policy will remain. But some are calling for it to be permanent.