Sutherland Springs church shooting survivor Ryland Ward released from hospital

Sutherland Springs church shooting survivor Ryland Ward released from hospital

The outpouring of support will continue Thursday, as Sutherland Springs residents line the street to cheer on Ward's return home.

Ryland, 6, has been recovering at University Hospital from the mass shooting that claimed the lives of his stepmother and two sisters in November 2017.

Ward is one of the youngest survivors of the worst church shooting in US history in which a deranged gunman killed 26 members of the First Baptist Church congregation.

Volunteer firefighter Rusty Duncan, a first responder that day, rescued Ryland as he scoured church pews for victims who were still alive.

Many got emotional at the sight of the convoy bringing Ryland home.

"He's doing great", Duncan said. "I rolled her over and grabbed him and started running outside with him".

Duncan said he walked through the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church and "started checking for people's pulses".

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"I met with her and talked to her, then I was actually able to go to the hospital and see him for the first time".

Duncan carried him out as quickly as he could and since the shooting he's visited him at a San Antonio hospital on Sunday's.

Duncan said that as of this week, Ryland was walking again, with assistance.

Duncan told KENS 5 that he received the news from Ryland's mother and father.

Ryland's grandmother, Sandy Ward, told ABC News that Ryland is trying to walk but keeps dragging his left foot and he also has limited use of his hip. He's kept me going this whole time. "He just - he couldn't believe how many people were there with him". "So I'm happy for him even though I'm crying, I'm happy he's coming home", said Del Bauer who lives near Sutherland Springs.

"Welcome home!" they screamed as the police escort - and finally the firetruck carrying Ryland - arrived in town.

Baker said they plan on traveling down Highway 87 from La Vernia to Sutherland Springs.

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