Officer who suffered severe spinal injury in shooting goes home after almost 400 days

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After 396 days, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer shot in the line of duty over a year ago was able to go home on Thursday.

Officer Malik Daricaud suffered a severe spinal injury after one of the bullets fired at him from a suspect hit his flashlight and shrapnel damaged his neck and shoulder area.


He’s been at Brooks Rehabilitation Center for over a year.

Step by step, followed by loved ones, officers, and caretakers, Officer Daricaud was able to walk out of the rehabilitation center.

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He thanked everyone who helped him during this time.

“Didn’t think I would get this far, but waking up and people’s smiles and jokes, all of it to kept me going, it really means a lot to me,” he said.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K Waters walked out with him and delivered an emotional message to him and the Brooks Rehabilitation crew.

ORIGINAL STORY: JSO: Officer suffers critical injuries after being shot during follow-up traffic stop investigation

“Didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said, referencing the shooting. “To see where you are right now is an amazing blessing. It’s nothing short of a miracle you guys have done, the Lord’s grace, his mercy and doctors, and all you all, absolutely amazing.”

It’s been an emotional and difficult 396 days for Officer Daricaud. His doctors said he has an amazing attitude and fought hard to get better.

“This is my second spinal cord patient severely injured to walk out of this hospital in 32 years,” Dr. Howard Weiss said.

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Officer Daricaud was in the care of Dr. Howard Weiss, occupational therapist, Kameron Stricklin, and physical therapist, Sydney Dalton, among many others.

“He struggled, he worked hard, we worked hard, he doubled down, we went harder, he went harder,” Dr. Weiss said.

Getting to where Daricaud is at now wasn’t easy. His caretakers said they tried anything and everything. They said seeing the progress was worth it.

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“When Malik couldn’t move himself, I was picking him up and putting him in the wheelchair, picking up from the wheelchair and back in bed,” Dalton said.

“I remember when he was able to put his shirt on, get it around the right arm, able to stand up and pull his pants up, put shoes on, and go to therapy. I think I cried then, I was so proud of him,” Stricklin said.

The sendoff brought emotions from many and while his recovery is not finished, his progress so far is inspiring to so many. As he goes home to his family, Dr. Weiss said there’s at least another solid year of recovery ahead, but doesn’t think he’ll need the wheelchair for walking short distances.

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“I believe he will walk better and we’re going to try and get rid of the walker,” he said.

Dr. Weiss also said part of the outpatient treatment is working on muscle transfers and other techniques to help move his right arm.

Sheriff Waters said Officer Daricaud is going to be working in the real-time crime center, analyzing video, and doing computer work at the sheriff’s office.

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