Firetruck escorts 6-year-old shooting victim home

The Sutherland Springs shooting survivor celebrated his sixth birthday in the hospital

Ryland was rushed to the hospital and soon the young boy's mother reached out to Duncan, the firefighter said.

Ryland, who was hospitalized for more than two months after being shot several times, will finally get his ride Thursday.

Duncan, a member of the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department, told San Antonio Express-News that he discovered Ward under the body of Ward's stepmother who died in the course of shielding her son from gunfire.

"I met with her and talked to her then I was actually able to go to the hospital and see him for the first time", about a week after the shooting, Duncan said.

Ryland was shot five times in the incident at First Baptist Church.

Duncan visited Ward in the hospital nearly every Sunday.

Duncan posted on Facebook about the special send-off, and he said he has been overwhelmed with responses.

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Duncan said that as of this week, Ryland was walking again, with assistance.

"He's a character", Duncan said. He's kept me going this whole time. Ward endured multiple surgeries at San Antonio's University Hospital over more than two months since first responders found him alive but wounded amid the carnage of the November 5 mass shooting, according to UPI.

The "fighting spirit" turned 6 while he was in the hospital.

Ryland's grandmother Sandy Ward added, "It's just a miracle he survived and is doing as well as he is. He just - he couldn't believe how many people were there with him".

As it rolled down the freeway, supporters gathered on overpasses and along roads waving and smiling, and Ryland waved back.

They lined the streets on the way to Sutherland Springs to cheer him on as he made his way down the highway. He has been obtaining physical therapy, and was promised a fire truck ride home upon his release.

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