University Medical Center held a fundraiser Thursday morning to help Officer Timothy Varner pay for any future expenses.
"It's a terrific turnout and it's great to see all the support from the community to come out here for Officer Varner and show their support for him and his recovery," said Lubbock Chief of Police Roger Ellis.
A tailgate-style grill was set up in the south emergency room parking lot. Workers cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and the line extended the length of the parking lot.
"There are a lot of faces that we don't recognize," said Captain Jon Caspell. "They've been nothing but polite and their show of support really has been nice to see."
Many of the people in attendance were from the law enforcement community, including Lubbock police, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, Texas Tech Police and Lubbock-area DPS. UMC workers made the short walk into the parking lot and other Lubbock residents came out to show their support.
"We are very fortunate to live in an area of the country, as well as the state, that really seems to support law enforcement - from the city manager and assistant city manager to high-ranking officials with many agencies, to just common folks coming out here - we appreciate that so much," Captain Caspell said.
Officer Varner and his wife made a special appearance. They walked around greeting everyone, smiling as they were pulled to the front of the line to receive food.
"As a fairly new officer, it's something that he and his wife in particular have seen that and think, wow, what a good, close family that we have," Chief Ellis said. "We're anxious to get him back to work. Of course he's going to have a little bit of time that he needs to heal up, but we're anxious to get him back and I think he's anxious to come back so we're ready for it to happen."
It has been almost two weeks since Varner was shot in front of the Salvation Army building in downtown Lubbock. For many people in attendance today, it was their first time seeing him since that night.
Captain Caspell had only one thought when he went to shake his hand.
"Thank God, thank God he's okay. A lot of our guys I'm sure are thinking the same thing," he said. "To see that he's okay means a lot to the guys that really work with him on a day to day basis. I'm sure it does him a world of good, too, to be able to show that to the guys that, hey, I'm okay."
32 year-old Jeremy Moor remains behind bars, arrested in connection with the shooting. He's been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of attempted capital murder.
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