Mount Vernon police officer Mike McClaughry is finally home after surviving a gunshot wound to the head that left him blind.
The beloved officer was greeted by the community as a hero when he returned home Tuesday afternoon.
At a news conference at Harborview Medical Center before he left, Officer McClaughry talked about the "overwhelming support" he has received during the course of his two-month recovery.
"I'm sorry I can't see you. I know there are a lot of smiling faces, out there," he said. "I want to see my daughter smiling. I want to see my grandchildren. But it's more or less in God's hands right now."
"I'm so overwhelmed by the response from everybody the interest, words of kindness and encouragement."
The 60-year-old and 31-year veteran of the force has been undergoing treatment since he was shot in the back of the head while responding to another shooting on December 15. Three alleged gang members have been arrested and charged.
Sitting near his wife, daughter and medical staff, McClaughry said he remembered little about that night. He recalled, "a lot of bright light. I remember passionate voices. Concern and worry."
Doctors said that, for a time, it wasn't clear whether McClaughry would survive. But when asked if she was surprised at her father's strength, April McClaughry laughed.
"Oh no. I already knew it. You can't be a police officer for over 30 years and not be strong," said April.
McClaughry thanks his parents for some of that.
"They gave me more than just genes. They gave me courage. They gave me understanding and patience," he said.
Bolstering that strength is a community that has rushed out to support McClaughry and his family.
"It's overwhelming. It really is," McClaughry said. He joked that he's received so many cards he probably can't get through them all.
McClaughry returned home on Valentine's Day, which is also his 39th wedding anniversary. He says his wife has been his rock.
"You live this long together you get to know each other pretty well. I can't say enough. She's beautiful," he said.
McClaughry’s daughter, April, worries for her father’s financial future. She has established a GoFundMe page to help her parents with their expenses.
KING 5's Eric Wilkinson, Travis Pittman, Heather Bosch and Liza Javier contributed to this report.
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