Ithaca (WSYR-TV) -- An Ithaca police officer shot in the line-of-duty last week was welcomed home with a parade of flashing lights and sirens Thursday.
After nearly one week in the hospital, Ithaca Police Officer Anthony Augustine is back home with his family.
Augustine, a five year veteran of the force, was shot late Thursday night while chasing down an alleged car thief.
He was hit just above his bullet proof vest, causing a collapsed lung and a minor stroke.
With a salute to his service, Patriot Guard member Gary Allen and others jumped on their motorcycles and followed a parade of police cars to welcome him home.
“We’re going to jump on these motorcycles and follow police cars and bring him home with the honor and respect that he deserves,” Allen told NewsChannel 9.
“He’s doing well. We expect him to make a full recovery,” said Ithaca Police Lieutenant Vincent Monticello. “He’s a great officer. I want him back on my platoon.”
Police say Augustine’s injuries could have been fatal, but his fellow officers and first responders saved his life with quick and thorough care.
Suspect, 22-year-old Jamel Booker has been charged in connection with the shooting. Police say he has a long history of violent crime.
“We know the danger of the job, but in this particular case this individual should not have been on the street,” Lt. Monticello said. “It upsets us, but we hope that the judicial system plays out and he is tried and convicted and sentenced to many years in prison.”
On Thursday, the focus was giving Augustine the honor he deserves for putting his life on the line.
Three different counties were there for Augustine’s arrival home.
“They’re our heroes and we want them to know that what they do is appreciated,” said Allen.
That appreciation brings them all together when times get tough and as Officer Augustine sets off on the road to recovery, he has the whole force behind him.
Augustine lost some of his vision and movement in his left arm, but his fellow officers say they’re hopeful that he will make a full recovery.
In the meantime, Booker will be back in court in November when the case is presented to a grand jury.