Cards, gifts and well-wishes sent to wounded Colorado Springs officer Cem Duzel over the holiday were delivered by Santa on Wednesday.

Old St. Nick and police cadets, officers and command staff shuttled the items up to Craig Hospital, where Duzel is recovering from a head wound suffered in an August shooting, the department said in a tweet.

Pictures of the encounter showed Duzel smiling from his wheelchair, his right shoulder in a brace and a bandage on the left side of his head where he was shot by suspected gunman Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi, 31. Khammasi has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder of a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing and illegal possession of a weapon.

Police Lt. Howard Black told The Gazette in December that Duzel had suffered some setbacks in his recovery but was pushing through. 

The community, through the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association's Fallen Officer Relief Fund, has raised more than $77,000 to support Duzel's recovery.

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Contact the writer at 719-636-0362 or find her on Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin.


Kaitlin is a public safety reporter with a focus on investigations. She is a proud Ohioan, champion for local libraries, volunteer reading tutor and an expert ice cream connoisseur (mint chocolate chip!). She joined the Gazette in 2016.

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