Joplin officer wounded in shooting is released from hospital

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri police officer who was wounded in a shooting that killed two other officers has been released from the hospital.

The Joplin Police Department said officer Rick Hirshey, 53, left Freeman Health System in Joplin on Wednesday. Video on KOAM-TV shows hospital personnel lining the hallways and applauding as Hirshey was released.

The department said Hirshey, who was wearing a neck brace as he left the hospital, “still has a long recovery period.”

Hirshey was wounded on March 8 when 40-year-old Alex Felix shot him through his patrol car window, police said.

Hirshey and other Joplin officers were searching for Felix after he fatally shot Joplin police Cpl. Benjamin Cooper, 40, and Officer Jake Reed, 27, during a confrontation at a Joplin shopping area.

Another Joplin officer shot and killed Felix after Hirshey was wounded. Police have not discussed a possible motive for Felix’s actions.

Cooper was laid to rest on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by more than 2,000 people, including many other law enforcement officers and emergency responders. Reed’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.

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