State trooper shot in eye by suspected mass shooter returns home

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Friday, April 16, 2021
Wounded Texas DPS trooper gets hero's welcome
We're not crying, you're crying! This is how a community rallied around a trooper wounded in the deadly Bryan mass shooting.

MADISONVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who was wounded while trying to apprehend a suspected mass shooter in Bryan, Texas, last week received a hero's welcome home.

Trooper Juan Tovar was shot in the eye while trying to apprehend suspect Larry Bollin on April 8 after Bollin opened fire at Kent Moore Cabinets, killing one person and injuring five others, including Tovar.

According to a fundraiser for Tovar on the Help A Hero website, his vehicle was struck by bullets 13 times as he tried to return fire on the suspect.

After undergoing surgery and being released from the hospital on Wednesday, Tovar was welcomed back to Madisonville, where he's a resident, in a drive-by parade.

"It gives me chills to think we almost lost one of our own, and I'm thankful that he's still here with us," longtime friend Kathy Simpson told KBTX.

DPS said in a tweet that although Tovar is out of the hospital he still has many challenges ahead.

Still, the community has continued to show support for him.

Also on Wednesday, because Tovar was unable to attend his son's baseball game, DPS members stood on the sidelines for him.

"We continue to pray for a speedy recovery and thank the community and all those who continue to offer kind and inspiring words," the department said in a tweet with photos from Tovar's son's game.

Organizations and Madisonville businesses have stepped up to try to raise money for Tovar and his family.

McKenzie's BBQ in Madisonville plans to hold an event on April 16 and the Brazos Valley Thin Blue Line Foundation said it's accepting donations to provide financial help to Tovar's family as well.

Tovar, 27, has been with the Texas Department of Public Safety since 2017. He is stationed in Madison County, and works for the Texas Highway Patrol in Madisonville.