Max Faulkner And Tom Uhler Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Fort Worth police officer Xavier Serrano is back on the beat almost two years after being shot five times while answering a call about a suicide attempt in the Wedgwood neighborhood.

Serrano spoke with the media at police headquarters Friday morning and described the night of the shooting and his journey back to active duty.

“I’m feeling good … just glad to be back out there,” he said. “It’s like I never left — except the cars are a little roomier.”

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Serrano and Officer Ray Azucena, who had been on patrol less than two months, were ambushed at a house in the 3800 block of Wharton Drive in south Fort Worth the night of Sept. 16, 2016.

Shots burst from a backyard shed as the officers attempted to force the shed door open. Serrano was hit in the hand, shoulder, arm and upper body. Azucena was shot in the chest but the bullet was deflected by his body armor. The shooter, identified as Martin Craig Fleece, 55, killed himself, police said.

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Guess Who’s Back? Back Again. Officer Serrano is back…..tell a friend…. On Sept. 16, 2016, Officer Serrano was…

Posted by Fort Worth Police Department on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Serrano underwent surgery at John Peter Smith Hospital afterward and was released five days later to begin his long recovery at home. He eventually returned to the police department in a non-active duty role.

Serrano said Friday he had a vivid memory of the shooting.

“I remember all the flashes,” he said. “I guess it just kind of went in slow motion. I remember seeing my shirt tear open, I remember the flash from his gun every time he pulled the trigger, I remember seeing mine every time I pulled mine.”

He said being back on the street in uniform feels the same. The main difference is “all the new stuff they put in these patrol cars — a lot changed in two years, a lot,” he said.

“I’m blessed to be here,” he said. “I’m blessed for the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m blessed for the way my department’s taken care of me — everyone from the chief on down. I’ve gotten support from every angle, and I’m blessed for every bit of it.”


©2018 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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