A San Bernardino police officer severely wounded in a gunbattle more than three months ago is now starting to move and speak, the department said on Facebook this week.
Officer Gabriel Garcia was shot in the head Aug. 22 when he and his rookie partner walked up to a group of people in a San Bernardino neighborhood. The unnamed rookie officer shot and killed Alex Alvarado, the man believed to have opened fire on Garcia.
Doctors initially said it would take six months to a year to fully gauge the officer's recovery. But on Facebook on Wednesday, Police Chief Jarrod Burguan recalled watching Garcia undergo a physical therapy session at a rehabilitation facility.
U.S. & World
News from around the country and around the globe
"With assistance, Gabe is able to stand and supported he can take a few steps," the post read. "He is also able to say a few words and as of yesterday his dad reported that he is starting to move his right arm and right hand a little."
Garcia's father, longtime San Bernardino Police Capt. Ron Garcia, along with other family members, had been at his bedside praying for him to recover.
"His long term prognosis is still unknown but his success up (to) this point is truly a miracle and a blessing," the Facebook post read.
Three men face charges in Garcia's shooting.
Jonathan Contreras, 20, Orlando Cruz, 24, and Gonzalo Medina, 22, pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder on a peace officer and possession of an assault rifle, prosecutors said. All three men could get life in prison if convicted.