Arlington police tweeted a photo of tactical officer Bryan Graham, who was shot in the side of the head Tuesday night as he led a hostage rescue team into an apartment.
But rather than being grisly, the photo of a smiling Graham is beautiful because of what it represents: a close call that didn't turn tragic for the dedicated officer, the family he adores and the police community. The bullet struck him outside his right eye and exited behind his ear but never penetrated his skull.
Graham, 35, led the charge into an apartment in the 600 block of East Arkansas Lane where a 23-year-old armed-robbery suspect was holed up with his girlfriend and a second woman who police say was being held against her will. After being shot -- which felt like somebody hit him with a baseball bat, he told fellow officers -- he had the presence of mind to position his body in a manner that didn't obstruct the path of the officers following him.
Another member of the tactical team, officer Charles Crawford, said Wednesday that Graham "performed at the level of a hero."
Although Graham was released from the hospital on Wednesday, he is still dealing with the pain from his injury and isn't ready to return to duty, Sgt. Christopher Cook, the Police Department's communications supervisor, said Friday.
The suspect, Alexzander Coan, was shot multiple times and died Tuesday night at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.