Chicago cop paralyzed from shooting released from rehab center: ‘This will not keep him down’

Danny Golden was released a month after the Beverly shooting that left him paralyzed. He was greeted by cheers from dozens of supporters and loved ones.

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Chicago police officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud as Officer Danny Golden leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning. Golden was off-duty when he was shot in the back and paralyzed after he tried to break up a bar fight July 9 on the Far South Side.

Chicago police officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud as Officer Danny Golden leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning. Golden was off duty when he was shot in the back and paralyzed after he tried to break up a bar fight July 9 on the Far South Side.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

One month after a shooting left him paralyzed, Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden was celebrating with an Oreo McFlurry as he left a rehabilitation center Friday morning.

The 32-year-old officer left the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to cheers and hugs from dozens of loved ones, colleagues and supporters. He was also greeted by his rescue dog, Marilyn, who gave him several eager kisses to show how much she’d missed him.

A procession followed from the center in Streeterville to the family’s Beverly neighborhood, where neighbors and well-wishers lined the streets.

Golden, a third-generation Chicago police officer, was left paralyzed after helping break up a fight at Sean’s Rhino Bar & Grill in Beverly while off duty. He was shot “dead center” in the back, with the bullet piercing his spine and lung. 

The alleged shooter and two others have been charged.

“We’re just totally humbled by the support from this area,” said Patrick Golden, the officer’s father. “Everyone that’s shown up to help him and show him support is just incredible. I’ve never seen this before.”

Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden gets a kiss from his dog Marilyn as officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud while he leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning.

Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden gets a kiss from his dog, Marilyn, as officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud while he leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

While his recovery is expected to be long and he’s still in “a lot of pain,” Golden is optimistic for the future and has been planning his next moves. 

“He wants to go back and get a master’s degree, which is incredible,” Patrick Golden said. “So to continue his education and just keep on moving on … I’m very proud.”

A physical therapy plan of five hours a day, five days a week is already in the works, his father said. But Golden already has motivation to keep at it.

“He’s getting married in October of 2023,” Patrick Golden said. “His goal is to walk down the aisle with his bride. This will not keep him down. He’s determined to live his life to the fullest.”

Aside from the McFlurry, the U.S. Army veteran had another request.

“All he wants is a barbecue,” his father laughed. “He said, ‘I don’t want nothing fancy, just give me a brat and an Italian sausage, and I want to see my friends and my family that supported me through this.’”

Chicago police officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud as Officer Danny Golden leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning.

Chicago police officers, supporters and family members cheer and applaud as Officer Danny Golden leaves the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the Gold Coast to head home Friday morning.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

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