'Hero' officer injured in shootout visits New Jersey school

Officer Padilla was a parent at the school several years ago and was vice president of the school's parent-teacher association.

Officer Padilla was a parent at the school several years ago and was vice president of the school's parent-teacher association. (9/22/16)

LINDEN, N.J. - One of the two officers injured while capturing bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami made a surprise visit Thursday to a group of New Jersey elementary school children, and he got a hero's welcome.

Students at Linden School No. 5 wrote get well cards for officers Angel Padilla and Pete Hammer, who were both hurt in Monday's shootout with the alleged bomber, just two blocks away from the school.

Officer Padilla was a parent at the school several years ago and was vice president of the school's parent-teacher association. He was shot in the torso during the shootout with the bombing suspect, but his bulletproof vest saved him from a more serious injury.

Officer Hammer was hit in the head by shrapnel bullet fragments. 

The students and adults in the classroom gave Officer Angel, as he is known in the community, a round of applause.

He answered questions and tearfully accepted all the thank you and get well cards the students made for him.

Principal Laura Scamardella said, "It is beyond exciting that our little school has the opportunity to really honor [Padilla] as a hero."

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