Sutherland Springs shooting victim Ryland Ward, 5, headed home this week


According to Duncan, the plan is for Ryland to be picked up in a fire truck on Thursday and driven home to Sutherland Springs after he's been discharged from the hospital.

Sadly, Ryland's stepmother, Joann Lookingbill Ward, and his two sisters, Brooke Bryanne Ward, 5, and Emily Garcia, 7, lost their lives in the shooting.

Ryland suffered massive injuries November 5 when a gunman stormed the rural First Baptist Church and slaughtered 26 people, including Ryland's stepmother, Joanne, who tried valiantly to shield her kids.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the attack the largest mass shooting in Texas history.

Volunteer firefighter Rusty Duncan was a first responder that day, and he told ABC News he was the one who found Ryland and pulled him to safety.

"He was heavily sedated", Duncan said, going through "surgery after surgery".

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"He loved every minute of the firetruck", Duncan said after dropping Ryland off at home. "He walked for me for the first time".

"He's doing great", Duncan said.

Duncan said he continued to visit the little boy at the hospital, including this week. "We just had a connection", Duncan said. "So, I looked down and it was a little arm. Even when I was giving up. just thinking about him and being around him makes me smile".

The community can gather on the highway's shoulders in the grassy areas to welcome Ryland home but have been asked to give the Ward family privacy once law enforcement officials arrive at Sutherland Springs. "And I felt a little tug on my pant leg".

When the boy was healthy enough to come home, Duncan gave him a ride.

While visiting him in the hospital, Ryland told Duncan he wanted to ride in his fire truck.