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DPD officer Tony Lopez Jr. awarded Sgt. status

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 14:18:57-05

A Denver police officer who was severely injured in the line of duty during a traffic stop shooting in December was promoted to Sergeant with 12 of his peers on Friday.

Officer Tony Lopez Jr. was hospitalized after he was shot five times during a routine traffic stop. Two people were arrested and charged with the attack.

RELATED: Suspected cop shooter confessed; $550,000 for Jason Wood in attempted murder of Officer Tony Lopez Jr. 

Since then, Lopez Jr. has been recovering and gathered enough strength to attend a ceremony where his dedication was rewarded. 

The promotion is a great honor for all of the officers who will have a larger role in the department.

During the ceremony, Lopez Jr. raised himself from his chair to walk a stage and accept his award from his wife, Kristen.

"This is in his blood, this is what he was born to do," said Mrs. Lopez. "He's doing really good. He's in good spirits. The physical therapy three or four times a week, it's very difficult for him."

Lopez's wife said the Sgt. still has a long recovery before him.

Police said the officer's bullet proof vest likely saved his life. Lopez Jr. was shot in an arm and both legs. He and his wife also have a baby on the way.

"It just goes to show how strong of a person he really is. Never that day when I got the call, I never would've believed he would come as far as he has," Mrs. Lopez said.

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