PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One of the two officers shot during the Fourth of July festivities on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia spoke to Action News about the chaos, the confusion and his recovery.
Philadelphia Police Officer Sergio Diggs, a 36-year-old husband and father of a college student and a newborn, is now back at home after being released from the hospital.
With his head heavily bandaged, Officer Diggs is a true example of someone who faced grave danger and lived to tell about it.
"I have a deep gash and a graze wound from the front of my forehead to back along the right side of my head," Diggs said.
The 14-year veteran was on his post along the Parkway near the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps.
Thousands of families were enjoying the celebrations when he says he had an eerie feeling.
"I was actually talking with one of my coworkers about what we would do in an instance of an active shooter situation maybe just a half-hour before it happened," he said.
Thirty minutes after that conversation, Diggs felt a heavy blow to his head like someone hit him.
"I describe it like a boulder fell out of the sky. It almost knocked me off my feet. That's how heavy it was," said Diggs.
Fellow officers saw the blood and rushed Diggs to the hospital.
"I didn't realize I had been shot until I got to the hospital, and I was alerted to the round that was in my hat," he said.
The bullet grazed his head and thankfully never pierced his skin.
It was a frightening moment that now he can be lighthearted about.
"A combination of my hat and my hard head (protected me)," Diggs said with a laugh.
But Diggs' job is no laughing matter to him; protecting and serving is his passion.
"I'm still going to put my uniform on every day and come to work to serve because that's what I love to do," Diggs said. "I'm very grateful I was able to come home to my family. They are the reason I go out here and try to make a difference."
Diggs says when he is fully recovered he will have no reservations about returning to the line of duty.
"As soon as I'm ready to get back, I'll be back," he said.
As for the investigation and finding the shooter, the officer says he wishes people made better decisions and had a better regard for life.