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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM)An injured officer with the Arlington Police Department is speaking publicly for the first time since being shot in the line of duty.

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Officer Eddie Johnston’s health is good and his spirits were up as he spoke at the press conference — a true testament to just how far his recovery has come.

It was on April 26 when Officer Johnston was shot near the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted in connection with the murder of a Saginaw teenager.

The man they were after, 23-year old Joel Conner McCommon was wanted for the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Miles, who was just days away from graduating from high school.

Officers from Arlington, Saginaw and UTA went to an apartment looking for McCommon. Several minutes after knocking on the door the suspect opened fire on authorities, hitting Johnston. The officer recalled, “It got me right in the left hip area, and I knew immediately I was hit.”

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Although injured Officer Johnston was able to return fire, and hit the suspect.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

During Thursday’s press conference Johnston was joined by his wife as he spoke about his gratitude to all those who’ve supported him through his recovery. “Thank you for the outpouring of messages and get wells. You don’t understand how much that helps until you are on the receiving end of them.”

“We’ve gotten tons of support from our church members [and] the school our kids go to,” he said. “There’s just been an outpouring of community support; the local businesses and again I can’t say enough about the APD family, so it’s been wonderful having them there to support us.”

Everyone there supporting Officer Johnston, who served as an Army medic for 11 years before becoming a police officer, said they were happy to see him on the road to full recovery.

When asked his future in law enforcement, Officer Johnston said there was never a time that he considered not being a police officer. “I never had one thought in my head that I don’t want to go back to doing this.” And go back to doing it he will – Officer Johnston is scheduled to return to full-duty on June 2.

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