Burleson police officer Joshua Lott was released from John Peter Smith Hospital on Thursday evening, one day after he was shot at least three times during a routine traffic stop early Wednesday morning.
"Doing great," he said as a long line of fellow officers escorted him home from the hospital.
The suspected shooter, 39-year-old Jerry Don Elders, was arrested near the Oklahoma border after an hours-long manhunt on Wednesday afternoon. In the car with Elders at the time of the shooting were two other passengers, including Jeremy Brewer who was arrested Wednesday evening on outstanding warrants unrelated to the violent crime spree Wednesday. The second passenger, an unidentified woman, was detained and later released.
Brooke Bancroft, owner of Blooms By Brookie, visited the police department on Thursday afternoon with the store’s co-owner and lead designer Black Novacek. They brought a large bouquet of blue and white flowers.
“You get to go in and talk to one of those guys and put a face to a name. They’re people, too, putting their lives on the line every single day,” Novacek said. “They said they’ve had a countless number of businesses show support. It’s a little bit of light in a dark period.”
An officer told Novacek other people have stopped by with flowers, food, and water.
“The officer we were just talking to, he says…there’s some doubts in their minds like “do we have the backing of the community?” and he says when something like this happens, there’s never a doubt. In this part of the country, there’s never a doubt,” Novacek said.
Jonathan Cook, of Burleson, organized a prayer vigil to be held at Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza for both the officer and Robin Waddell, the woman police said was carjacked after the shooting Wednesday.
Details around Waddell’s case are still being investigated but so far, authorities say she showed up at Joshua Police Department with gunshot wounds Wednesday morning at 8:44 a.m. and later died at Huguley Hospital South in Burleson.
Cook is friends with Waddell’s daughter.
“Her daughter was going through some pictures yesterday to give me for the vigil tonight. She thanked me for including her mother in tonight’s vigil, which actually, that’s at the forefront of tonight’s prayer gathering. She said, ‘it’s hard for me to go through any more pictures, and thank you for including my mother in tonight’s prayer because our family needs prayers,’” Cook said. “She was a beautiful woman. 61 is too young for anybody to be taken out of this world, especially in the way that it happened yesterday.”
Cook said the purpose of the vigil was to offer comfort for Waddell’s family and to honor her legacy.
“Her heart was for this community as well and for a community that she loved so much, we’re going to show how much we love her and her family. Same with Officer Lott,” he said.