UPDATE: Tulsa officer shot during traffic stop returns home following months in rehab

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TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma police officer who was shot during a traffic stop in June has returned home.

Officer Aurash Zarkeshan was welcomed home by family, friends and fellow officers on Thursday.

Zarkeshan had been in Colorado for four months, undergoing rehab.

“I missed home,” Zarkeshan said. “Glad to be home and back with my Tulsa Police Department family and back in Tulsa. I missed home.”

Sgt. Craig Johnson and Zarkeshan, both of the Tulsa Police Department, pulled over a vehicle in the 8900 block of East 21st Street at around 3:30 a.m. on June 29.

Investigators say the officers asked the driver, David Ware, to get out of his vehicle 12 times. When he refused, a taser was deployed.

When that didn’t work, officials say the officers attempted to spray Ware with pepper spray.

When Ware was out of the vehicle, authorities say Ware pulled out a gun and started firing at the officers.

“The bullets found their mark, struck the officers, and the officers were critically injured. The officers went down and the driver slowly walked away from the vehicle and got into a waiting vehicle that had arrived to the scene and drove away,” said Chief Wendell Franklin, with the Tulsa Police Department.

Johnson and Zarkeshan were both shot multiple times and rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan
Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan

Sadly, officials with the Tulsa Police Department announced that Johnson passed away from his injuries the next day.

“Yesterday, he sustained multiple gunshot wounds, one of which was critical. He underwent surgery. Doctors and nurses attempted and tried everything that they could to save his life. Today, Sgt. Craig Johnson passed away,” said Chief Franklin.

Zarkeshan, who is a rookie with the department, continued to improve after being moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Aurash Zarkeshan
Aurash Zarkeshan

Two months ago, Zarkeshan released a video saying that he is progressing very quickly in his recovery.

“I’m able to walk and stand comfortably now. I’ve also scored very well on many of my cognitive tests. I feel very lucky to have such amazing community support. Thank you all for everything you’ve done for me and my family. It’s been absolutely outstanding, amazing. I know that me and my parents greatly appreciate everything you’ve done for us. Thank you, Tulsa,” Zarkeshan said in the video.

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