Milford officer shot in Rehoboth fugitive arrest returns home

Nearly three weeks after he was struck by a barrage of bullets while trying to apprehend a fugitive wanted out of Pennsylvania, T.J. Webb returned home on Wednesday.

Webb, a 38-year-old Sr. Cpl. with the Milford Police Department, was escorted from a Dover rehabilitation center by his fellow officers. First responders and well-wishers gathered along the route to show their support.

On the Thompsonville Road overpass, just north of Milford, firefighters from the South Bowers Volunteer Fire Department waved flags and flashed the lights on their fire trucks.

Fire trucks were waiting for Webb on multiple Route 1 overpasses Wednesday, just as they were when Webb left the hospital on Dec. 17. 

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Milford officer shot last week has support from fellow officers as he leaves hospital

Firefighters weren't the only ones showing their support.

Shannon Villareal of Milford isn't a first responder and doesn't know Webb, but she was on the Thompsonville Road overpass Wednesday.

"I just back the blue," she said.

Beverly and Bruce Cottle, of Milford, were on the Thompsonville Road overpass Dec. 30 to welcome Sr. Cpl. T.J. Webb home. They also also participated in the "Jeepers Back the Blue" event Dec. 26 that brought a convoy of Jeeps past Webb's rehabilitation center.

Webb's condition continues to improve, according to the Milford Police Department. 

The officer was shot multiple times Dec. 10 before 8 p.m. outside an Econo Lodge hotel on Route 1 near Rehoboth Beach as he tried to apprehend a Pennsylvania man wanted for attempted murder. The suspect, 37-year-old Evelio Rivera, was shot and killed that night. 

Webb, who is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force in Delaware, along with a Delaware State Police trooper and a Probation and Parole officer, were attempting to arrest Rivera when he opened fire, according to police and witnesses. 

Rivera was wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted murder. Task force officers had tracked him to the Rehoboth motel.

A Facebook page for TJW #5107 Strong has garnered more than 3,000 likes and follows. It's become a hub for information about Webb's condition and how people can support. An account with the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union has been set up for donations.

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