Snyder officer showing signs of improvement - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Snyder officer showing signs of improvement

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Corporal Darrell Campbell continues to fight for his life at University Medical Center, but is showing signs of improvement.

He's was able to open his eyes for the first time since the shooting on Thursday. He's also been able to wiggle fingers and open and close his hands.

Campbell was shot after responding to a report of shots fired in Snyder Tuesday. Police say he and Officer Lee Ortiz were talking to Dwayne Birmingham, when he pulled a gun and shot Corporal Campbell in the forehead. Officer Ortiz then returned fire, killing the suspect.

It's about an hour and a half from Snyder to UMC in Lubbock, but Snyder Chief of Police Terry Leucke has made the drive every day.

On Thursday, we spoke to Leucke for the first time since the incident. He says he wants to be there for Campbell's family and let other officers in Snyder know about the condition of their brother.

Leucke says he's been moved by the support from Lubbock Police and Lubbock County Sheriff officials.

"I know it is a brotherhood in law enforcement and we rally around each other, but until you're on the other side of it, you don't really know what it means," Leucke said.

Many of Campbell's fellow officers have been able to make the drive to see him, but Leucke updates the others who can't make the trip.

"Every time I get an update, I try to relay that to the guys at home, that way they know there are some improvements being seen," said Leucke.

Love and support for Campbell can be seen all across Snyder. There are flags lined up in his yard. Businesses have signs up offering prayers for their recovering officer.

"The mood has been real hopeful. Every time you see a little improvement in him, it just raises spirits," said Leucke.

Even Lubbock businesses like Tech Café, the Pancake House, and River Smiths have shown their support by giving free meal vouchers to the Campbell's family for breaks in between hospital visits.

Leucke says Campbell's family is staying strong the best they can, and his department is more unified than he's ever seen.

"There's been a lot of positive things to come out of this," he continued. "The department, we've really bonded together. We've always been close, but it's kind of brought us back."

As his family and community continue to pray for a successful recovery, the Snyder Police Department will also be there every step of the way.

"We're here for him, we're going to back him up like we always do, and we want him to make a full recovery and we want him to be part of the team," said Leucke.

Campbell remains in critical condition at UMC. There is a fund set up in his name at any American State Bank.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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