Tulsa’s Police Chief said injured officer Aurash Zarkeshan is ‘Tulsa’s hope.’
Chief Wendell Franklin visited Officer Zarkeshan while he is recovering out of state after being shot in the line of duty three months ago. Franklin said the officer is doing well after this week’s surgery to rebuild his skull.
"He's progressing very nicely,” said Franklin. “His cognitive skills are all there."
After seeing Zarkeshan go through therapy, the chief spent two hours with him outside and enjoyed some light-hearted moments. Franklin said they didn't talk about the suspected shooter's case or the recent court-ordered release of the body camera video from the June 29th shooting that injured Zarkeshan and killed Sergeant Craig Johnson.
"I know that he did not watch any of the video,” said Franklin. “He didn't want to see it."
The chief said his department is still healing from the trauma, and officers have mental health services to choose from.
"We encourage them to do so,” said Franklin. “I think in the end. we're all doing as well as we can."
For now, Zarkeshan, who TPD calls "Tulsa's Hope," is recovering from this week's surgery, then could continue his rehab in Tulsa in a few weeks.
"He is a walking miracle," said Franklin.
Franklin added it's too early to know when Zarkeshan may be back to work.
"Just getting him into an office environment within our department will be a tremendous value to him and obviously to us and all the officers around him," said Franklin.
Franklin also said Zarkeshan's medical bills are covered by worker's comp and insurance. His family, who is from Oklahoma City, is staying in an apartment near the rehab facility thanks to donations.