After month of rehab, San Diego police sergeant shot in the head able to walk again

Karen Kucher
San Diego Union Tribune
January 17, 2024

SAN DIEGO  —  A San Diego police sergeant shot in the head in December — leaving him with injuries that initially left him unable to walk — returned home Tuesday after making what city officials called “an amazing recovery.”

Accompanied by family members, Sgt. Anthony Elliott walked off an airplane and was greeted by Police Chief David Nisleit and several other officers at San Diego International Airport.

A procession of police motorcycles later led him into his neighborhood, where neighbors waved signs and cheered as he approached, according to a video released by the police department.

“Hello! Thanks, everybody!” he shouted, as he was hugged by children.

On the video, Elliott pauses in front of a home and addresses the crowd gathered around him.

“I’m profoundly grateful for the department and the community. I love you guys,” he said, adding that he was trying not to cry.

“I wouldn’t have progressed the way I did if you guys didn’t love me, so (that is) very much appreciated.”

The police department posted video of his homecoming on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

Elliott has undergone extensive rehabilitation since he was shot in the head Dec. 7 in a parking lot outside a grocery store in 4S Ranch.

After the shooting, Elliott lost the use of his left arm and leg and was initially unable to walk, the department said. He was moved to an out-of-state facility Dec. 21 to continue rehabilitation therapy.

His dramatic physical improvement is obvious as he walks off the plane, shown on the video released Tuesday night. He was accompanied by his wife, Laura, and two young sons.

According to the department, Elliott will continue therapy at an outpatient rehab facility in the San Diego area.

Elliott was shot  during a confrontation with 46-year-old Curtis Harris in a Ralphs   parking lot on 4S Commons Drive.

Investigators said Elliott and three other officers had gone to the store to serve a protection order on Harris.

Body-worn camera footage released by the department showed Harris running away from the officers as they approached him just outside the grocery store. Elliott gave chase, and Harris opened fire.

The three other officers returned gunfire and fatally shot Harris.

Elliott was the third San Diego police officer to be shot in the last 12 months. Officers faced more gun threats in 2023 than the previous two years combined, according to data maintained by the department’s homicide unit.

“He and his family continue to be grateful for the support they receive from the entire San Diego community,” the department said in a statement.

A fundraising campaign spearheaded by the San Diego Police Officers Association has raised more than $60,000 to assist the family.