Local

Nov 21, 2012 11:22 PM by Rebecca Taylor

TPD Sergeant's condition improves, wife speaks to reporters

TUCSON - A Tucson Police Sergeant wounded in the line of duty is making progress.

For the first time, Sergeant Carpenter's wife and doctors are speaking about his recovery.

Carpenter was shot Sunday responding to burglary call near Alvernon and Broadway.

A manhunt ensued, and SWAT Team members nabbed Ricky Mendoza Monday at a hotel just blocks away.

The 29-year-old is charged with the break in, but police will only call him a person of interest in Carpenter's shooting.

Doctors say the sergeant's condition has gone from critical, to serious.

An improvement his wife is grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Being comforted by her friend and pastor, Cindy Carpenter opens up to reporters.

"There are ups and there are downs, but it's very hopeful," says Cindy.

For the first time, she's sharing details of her husband's recovery. As he remains in the hospital.

"You don't know what you're going to see when you walk in the door, but he's my husband and I'm glad he's here," says Cindy.

Dr. Sergio Rivero is the neurosurgeon who operated on Sergeant Carpenter.

A surgery to allow the 47-year-old's brain to swell.

Doctor Rivero says it's similar to the life saving operation performed on Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords.

"We downgraded him from critical to serious, which is a very good improvement and we're very grateful," said Dr. Rivero.

Because of the on-going police investigation, doctor's can't detail specifics of his injuries.

"Right now, the only thing we can say is the bullet did enter his brain and he did have a brain injury," said Dr. Peter Rhee, Chief of Trauma at UAMC.

With two kids, age 18 and 14 Cindy gives thanks to her husband's nurses and doctors for saving his life.

Her gratitude stretches to their police family, church, and the public.

"I know our God is in control, and I appreciate all the support and prayers, especially the community."

Tucsonans have really stepped up to help the family financially. As well as boosting the reward fund for information.

Working in conjunction with 88-Crime, a reward of up to $26,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting incident.

To donate to the Carpenter family, contact The Tucson Police Foundation.

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