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Officer injured in bomb suspect's arrest visits school

Posted: September 22, 2016 9:16 a.m.
Updated: September 22, 2016 9:16 a.m.
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LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — A police officer wounded in a shootout with the man charged with setting off bombs in New York City and New Jersey visited a school Thursday to thank students for their well wishes.

Patrolman Angel Padilla visited Linden School No. 5, where his grandson attends and where he volunteers with the school's PTA.

Investigators say Padilla was shot in his bulletproof vest on Monday morning by Ahmad Khan Rahami during a shootout that led to Rahami's capture.

One of the fifth grade students in the class asked Padilla how scared he was when he confronted the suspect.

"How scared was I? I was nervous. A bit nervous," Padilla said.

Students at the school wrote get well cards for Padilla and Officer Pete Hammer, who was grazed in the head by a bullet or shrapnel.

"They're my heroes," Padilla said, vowing to come back and play basketball and attend the school book fair.

Both officers were treated and released from a hospital. They have received calls from President Barack Obama this week as well as pizza deliveries sent by town well-wishers.

Rahami remains hospitalized and has yet to make a first appearance on federal charges. Prosecutors have charged him with planting a bomb in Seaside Park, which injured no one, and two in Manhattan. One of the New York City bombs exploded, injuring more than two dozen people; the other didn't detonate.

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