LINDEN, N.J. — Officer Angel Padilla was brought to tears by the heartfelt thanks of third and fifth graders at Linden Elementary School 5 Thursday morning.
Padilla was shot in the vest in Linden on Tuesday during the takedown of Ahmad Khan Rahami, wanted in connection with bombings in New York City and New Jersey.
Officer Mark Kahana also responded to the scene of the shootout, and he was at Padilla’s side in School 5. Kahana was hospitalized and treated for high blood pressure.
The children at School 5 came up with the idea to create "thank you" and "get well" cards for the cops. Some read their cards aloud to the officers.
“Dear Officer Angel Padilla, first off, I am so thankful for you saving our lives. You are my favorite officer of Linden, New Jersey. I hope you feel better. I am just so, so thankful for what you did,” read Nazir Mack, 8, after she walked to the front of the classroom to shake Padilla’s hand.
“Thank you,” he replied.
President Barack Obama also called to thank the two Linden officers who were shot, Officer Padilla and Officer Peter Hammer.
“Something terrible has happened, but a tremendously positive thing has come out of that and we are very appreciative of that,” Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham said.
"The outpouring of emotion and support from the community has been fantastic for them."
Due to the ongoing investigation, Padilla and Kahana were not permitted to speak to the media.