Dozens of supporters cheered and looked on Thursday at Tulsa International Airport as Tulsa Police Department Ofc. Aurash Zarkeshan, injured in a June shooting, stepped off a plane following months of rehabilitation at an out-of-state facility.
Zarkeshan was immediately greeted by Mayor G.T. Bynum, who hugged him and said, "Welcome home!"
On a TPD livestream of the event, Zarkeshan, who appeared physically healthy and in good spirits, addressed the camera and more than 1,000 viewers directly.
"I'm just so happy to be home. I am sick and tired of the hospital and hope to never be in one again," he said, chuckling, "unless it's for good reason."
"I'm just happy to be home and back with my TPD family and, really, just be back in Tulsa," he said. "I missed home."
“When I visited Officer Zarkeshan at his rehab facility last month, he told me one thing motivated so much of the hard work he’s put in during his recovery: he wanted to get home to Tulsa,” Bynum said in a Wednesday statement announcing that October 15th would officially be declared "Aurash Zarkeshan Day" in the city of Tulsa.
“He is a remarkable man, and it will be good for all of us to have Tulsa’s Hope back at home," Bynum said.
Zarkeshan and his supervisor, Sgt. Craig Johnson, were shot during a traffic stop on June 29. Johnson died of his injuries.
The accused shooter, David Ware, faces charges including first degree murder and is due to be arraigned in Tulsa County District Court on Monday. A separate trial for Ware's alleged getaway driver, Matthew Hall, is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7.