CHICAGO (CBS) — As the city mourns the violent death of Chicago Police Officer Ella French, her partner – who was shot three times in the same incident – continued his fight to recover.
As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported Wednesday, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. loves spending time with his son, exercising, and dancing. To see him paralyzed and losing an eye has been heartbreaking for his family.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Early Morning Showers; Mild Day Friday
But there have been signs…of hope.
In an incredible sign of resilience from Officer Yanez, a photo on his sister’s Facebook page shows him giving a thumbs-up with his right hand.
“A simple traffic stop turned into a tragedy,” said the officer’s father, Carlos Yanez Sr.
Yanez’s father spoke at a vigil Tuesday night for Officer French – his son’s partner. A bullet entered Yanez’s eye, brain, and shoulder.
Officer Yanez lost his right eye.
“They operated three times. They still can’t get the bullets out,” Yanez Sr. said, “but he’s still fighting. He’s still trying to live for his son – 3-year-old son, Carlos III.”
With his recovery in mind, Officer Yanez’s sister and sister-in-law set up a GoFundMe page. They speak of the need for his extensive therapy as he tries to overcome the paralysis that is affecting three of his limbs.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
They also mention Yanez’s son. The 3-year-old needs ongoing therapy after enduring multiple cranial surgeries for a condition with which he was born.
Yanez Sr., a former Chicago Police officer himself, said he spoke to his son just minutes before he was shot.
“He said, ‘I love you Dad.’ ‘All right, love you son,’” Yanez Sr. said. “Then, 20 minutes later, I get that call.”
Amid the tears, there have been moments of joy for the Yanez family. In a post with an update on her brother, his sister, Nicole, writes about seeing her brother make a tiny movement with his right foot – saying, “We were screaming, crying, and thanking God.”
The retired officer praised the efforts of all involved in his son’s care, and those who got him to the hospital – in particular the third officer on the scene that night, Officer Josh Blas.
“Josh – the third officer – Blas, I believe saved my son in responding the way he did, and got Ella as fast to the hospital and Junior as fast to the hospital as he could,” Yanez Sr. said. “My brothers in blue, and sisters, I thank you. Please be safe. Godspeed.”
Officer Yanez’s family said he often spoke of wanting to live in Englewood and wanted the community to be free of gun violence.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight
In just three days, the GoFundMe Officer Yanez’s family set up has raised nearly $170,000 of a $250,000 goal.