San Diego

Chopper the Biker Dog Visits SDPD Officer Injured in Shootout

Officers Francisco Roman and Dan Bihum were injured in a shooting last Saturday in the College Area

If pictures are any indication, an officer injured in a shootout in the College Area last Saturday is in good spirits while he recovers in the hospital.

San Diego Police Department officer Francisco Roman got a visit from famed Chopper the Biker Dog, a Boston Terrier who makes the rounds on a Harley visiting law enforcement and other community members who are healing in and out of hospitals.

Roman and Officer Dan Bihum were injured by gunfire last Saturday while responding to a disturbance call at an apartment complex in the College Area.

They, along with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department firefighters, entered the suspect's home and were immediately shot at and returned fire, according to SDPD.

Police say the suspect, identified this week as 28-year-old Joe Darwish, was dressed in body armor.

Roman and Bihum were able to exit the apartment and SWAT teams followed and found Darwish dead. Investigators were working to determine if he was killed by police gunfire or by a self-inflicted gunshot.

The day after the shooting, SDPD Chief David Nisliet said both officers were expected to make complete recoveries. Bihum was released from the hospital the next day.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer visited with Roman and his wife in the hospital Wednesday and tweeted that he was proud of the officer and thanked him for his service.

Roman is a 3-year veteran Bihum has been with the department for 18 years.

Those wishing to donate to the hurt officers can do so through the San Diego Police Officer's Association's website here, or a GoFundMe page started to help Officer Roman's family while he recovers from his injuries.

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