NEW ORLEANS-- It's been more than two weeks since New Orleans Police Department Officer John Passaro was shot several times inside a Dollar General store as he responded to an armed robbery. He survived the shooting, but the road to recovery remains a long one.
'His progress is moving forward every day. His wit is still there. His spirits are every high,' said his wife Stephanie Passaro.
At the annual Crimestoppers luncheon, Stephanie Passaro accepted the Award of Valor on behalf of her husband. He remains hospitalized because of his injuries, but she said he wants to come back to work.
'He's ready,' she said. 'He's ready now.'
So far, New Orleans police have not made an arrest in this case. However, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said they are close to doing so.
'We're following up a lot of very good leads,' he said. 'It's not time yet to say we think we've got an arrest, but I do think that out detectives have been able to get some very important information through Crimestoppers.'
Someone who understands what Passaro is going through is St. John Deputy Michael Scott Boyington. This past summer, he was also shot in the line of duty. Boyington recently went to the hospital to visit Passaro.
'He's going to be going through a lot of things that I went through and I am still going through now,' Boyington said. 'It's very, very tough and hopefully everybody still keeps him in their prayers because it is very hard.'
In the meantime, Passaro's recovery continues.
'He has a tremendously long road ahead of him,' Serpas said. 'Nobody should be confused that he suffered significant and life-altering injuries.'
At the Crimestoppers luncheon, they handed out cards to the 800 people there, so they could write messages of encouragement and thanks to Officer John Passaro.