‘Pray for a miracle’: Hundreds gather at St. Rita of Cascia to support Chicago cop who was shot, paralyzed trying to break up bar fight

Officer Danny Golden was shot in the back early Saturday after a fight spilled out of Sean’s Rhino Bar & Grill in Beverly.

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Family members of Chicago Police Department  Officer Daniel Golden stand during a prayer service for him Thursday at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. Golden was shot in the back after he tried to break up a bar fight in Beverly.

Family members of Chicago Police Department Officer Daniel Golden stand during a prayer service for him Thursday at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. Golden was shot in the back after he tried to break up a bar fight in Beverly.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Hundreds gathered Thursday and prayed for a “miracle” for a Chicago police officer who was shot and paralyzed last week after helping break up a fight outside a bar in Beverly.

As Officer Danny Golden watched on a livestream from Christ Medical Center, friends, family members and other city workers packed the pews for the emotional service at his alma mater, St. Rita of Cascia High School, in the Ashburn neighborhood.

“We’re coming to pray for Danny Golden,” said Rev. Tom McCarthy, director of the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel where the service was held. “We’re coming to pray for his healing. We’re coming to pray for a miracle. We’re coming to pray for peace.”

Police officers clap during a prayer service for CPD Officer Daniel Golden at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel on Thursday.

Police officers clap during a prayer service for CPD Officer Daniel Golden at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel on Thursday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Golden, a U.S. Army veteran who hails from a police family, was shot in the back early Saturday after a fight spilled out of Sean’s Rhino Bar & Grill, 10330 S. Western Ave. Three men, including the alleged shooter, were charged in connection to the attack and denied bail on Tuesday.

During their initial court hearing, prosecutors said Golden — who was off-duty at the time — “was doing what he could to keep people apart” and even stopped someone from chasing the man who later grabbed a gun and let off 19 shots.

Golden’s cousin, Caeli Day, said she wasn’t surprised he was hit by one of those bullets while “acting as a protector.”

“All of us cousins look up to you, Danny, and appreciate that you’ve always had our backs,” she said while fighting back tears. “Now it’s time we have yours. You’re the leader of our pack, and we love you more than you know.

“Keep fighting like a Golden,” she added, reciting a phrase that has served as a rallying cry for his family and supporters.

CPD Officer Daniel Golden’s cousin, Caeli Day alongside her father, Tom Day, speaks about Golden on Thursday.

CPD Officer Daniel Golden’s cousin, Caeli Day alongside her father, Tom Day, speaks about Golden on Thursday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The outpouring of love and support for Golden has been remarkable. A GoFundMe campaign launched to help him and his fiancee during his road to recovery has already raised nearly $1.2 million of its $2 million goal.

During a montage that included a video of encouragement from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Golden spoke directly to the crowd in a short clip filmed in his hospital bed.

Despite his uphill battle, Golden’s other cousin, Jack Gorman, insisted that “good is going to come from this.” He noted that Golden has remained positive and perked up when he learned that he was going to the same rehabilitation center as 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, who was paralyzed in the Independence Day parade massacre in Highland Park.

“I can’t wait to meet my new buddy,” Gorman recalled Golden saying.

People in attendance listen to speeches by family members during a prayer service for CPD Officer Daniel Golden at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel on Thursday.

People in attendance listen to speeches by family members during a prayer service for CPD Officer Daniel Golden at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel on Thursday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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