As a crowd of people cheered for Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry’s arrival Wednesday, some shouted “my hero” to the officer, who survived being shot several times in November while pursuing a fugitive.
Holtry, however, said he isn’t a hero; he was just doing his job.
When the officer arrived at the Boise Airport, he was greeted by uniformed officers and community members holding balloons and welcome signs. He spent the past two months undergoing rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.
The shooting left Holtry paralyzed from the waist down, and his left leg was amputated at the knee.
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“It’s been a rough four months. It’s been a long, hard road for sure. … Some pretty dark days and some pretty good ones,” he said at the airport. “... All the support I’ve had has helped me through this in a huge way.”
Holtry was shot by Marco Romero in a Boise Bench neighborhood. Romero, who was killed in the shootout, was a suspect in the shooting of two people in Meridian and the carjacking of an 89-year-old woman.
Boise Police Cpl. Chris Davis was shot once in the Nov. 11 altercation; he was treated at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and released the next day.
Romero also took the life of a police dog, Jardo.
Holtry called the gathering at the airport “overwhelming” and said he was grateful for those who came to support him.
Holtry said that since the day he was shot he has had limited contact with many supporters, so he looked forward to seeing people he’s been away from. Holtry said he still has not seen some of the officers who were there the day of the shooting.
“From going from where I was four months ago to here, to being as strong as I am now, I can’t even really articulate it into words,” Holtry said. “People say, ‘What’s it like?’ But it’s from almost getting killed to being here and getting support.”
Holtry said all of the attention sometimes makes him uncomfortable.
“It’s not really what I seek out or who I am,” he said.
He said that rehab was challenging but that “giving 100 percent” is all he knows how to do.
“I knew that I needed to come back here,” Holtry said. “... I’m still a father. I have two daughters. I have a lot to do (and) I still have to be a cop.”