ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (WPVI) --An Atlantic City police officer shot in the line of duty was released from the hospital Thursday to continue his recovery at a rehabilitation facility.
Action News reporter Chad Pradelli streamed the moment live on his Facebook page.
Officer Joshlee Vadell was caught in a shootout when he tried to stop an armed robbery in Atlantic City on Labor Day weekend.
His fellow brothers and sisters and in blue say Vadell is lucky to be alive. He suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.
"Look he's in a lot of pain, he's been through a lot. But I can tell you I was just there momentarily and he's speaking, he's in good spirits. He's a tough kid," said Dep. Chief Bill Mazur.
The incident unfolded early Saturday morning on Sept. 3.
Police say Vadell and his partner witnessed a robbery in progress near the Caesar's Casino parking lot.
As Vadell got out of his cruiser he was shot in the head. His partner returned fire, hitting and killing Jerome Damon of Camden, N.J.
Vadell's doctors and nurses also received a loud applause. Dr. Jorge Eller was his brain surgeon. He says a part of Vadell's skull had to be removed to relieve pressure and more surgeries are ahead.
"Luckily for him, it hit him in the right parietal lobe, and did not cross the mid-line, so it stayed there, which is a good prognostic factor," Eller said.
Vadell is a husband and father of two, with a third child on the way. His pregnant wife and other family were among those on hand today.
Police brass said it was too soon to say if Vadell will return to the force.
"He is a determined individual, and it would not surprise me if that was in the cards for Josh, but we must wait and see," said Mazur.
Vadell is going to continue his recovery at a rehabilitation facility in Philadelphia.