CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., who lost an eye and was left paralyzed in the same shooting that killed Officer Ella French, has been moved to a rehabilitation facility, marking “a major step in his recovery process,” CPD Supt. David Brown announced Monday afternoon.
“He still has a long road ahead, but we are grateful for the progress he is making. Please continue to keep him and his family, and the French family, in your thoughts and prayers. Also, let’s keep Ella’s and Carlos’ partner and all CPD officers in your prayers as well,” Brown said.READ MORE: Ald. Carrie Austin Thanks City Council, Mayor For Support After Her Collapse At December Meeting
Yanez is partially paralyzed and lost an eye. He was shot three times on Aug. 7 during a traffic stop at 63rd and Bell in West Englewood. French, one of his two partners, was killed in the same shooting.
“A simple traffic stop turned into a tragedy,” former Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez Sr., the wounded officer’s father, said last week at a vigil to Officer French, who was laid to rest on Thursday.
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.
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.”READ MORE: Charges To Be Filed Soon In Connection With Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega
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.
In just over a week, the GoFundMe Officer Yanez’s family set up has surpassed its $250,000 goal, raising more than $307,000 as of Monday afternoon.
Meantime, two brothers, Emonte and Eric Morgan, have been charged in the shooting that killed French and wounded Yanez Jr., and are being held without bail.
Emonte Morgan, aka Monte Morgan, is charged with one count of first-degree murder of a peace officer, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
His brother, Eric Morgan, is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice.MORE NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer To Retire
Emonte Morgan was shot himself after he shot French and Yanez Jr., when their partner, Officer Joshua Blas, opened fire on him as he was trying to run away.