There has been an outpouring of support, thoughts and prayers for Winchester native and MBTA Police Officer Richard "Dic" Donohue Jr., who was injured during a Thursday night shoot-out with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Donohue, 33, who recently moved to Woburn with his wife and 7-month-old son. He has been a member of the MBTA Transit Police for three years.
Donohue Family Thanks Community for Support
In a statement released by his family on Saturday, they said Donohue Jr. remains in serious condition at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.
"We thank the people of Boston and the nation for the prayers and support they are sending to Richard and to our family," the family statement says. "Please continue to pray for Richard, a wonderful father, husband, son and brother, and a dedicated police officer who loves his work and helping people."
Edward Donohue, a Winchester Police officer, also issued a statement about his brother.
"Dic still has a long road to go before we can safely say he has made it out of the woods. We are proud of his actions and extremely grateful for those courageous officers and EMTs on scene who braved gunfire and explosives to render critical care to Dic that has brought us to this point," he said in the statement. "The Mount Auburn Hospital doctors and nurses have performed extraordinarily well and their staff has been incredible. This week has been difficult for everyone and on behalf of the extended Donohue family, we would like to thank all of the citizens in the surrounding communities for cooperating with police efforts in the search for the suspects."
Edward Donohue continued, saying "...we keep in our prayers all those who have been affected by the tragedies this past week, especially Sean Collier, Dic's friend and academy mate." Donohue Jr. reportedly graduated from Virginia Military Institue in 2002.
In a call to Winchester Police on Saturday, a few officers indicated knowing Donohue Jr., but declined to elaborate and referred Winchester Patch to speak with Lt. Peter MacDonnell on Monday.
Winchester Area Readers Offer Well Wishes
Winchester and Woburn Patch readers have expressed their thoughts and best wishes for Donohue Jr. and his family.
On Winchester Patch a reader, identified only as Linda, responded to the news by posting "God bless" on an article.
Judy Zagzoug posted on Woburn Patch's Facebook page that she is holding the officer in her thoughts.
"Thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, wishing for a speedy recovery," she said. "Thank you for putting your life on the line to protect us."
Trish Schubmehl echoed the sentiment.
"Lots of prayers for him and his family," she posted
"Prayers to him and his family and for a speedy recovery," David Busa said.
Stoneham resident and School Building Committee chairman Jeanne Craigie posted "May God bless him and all his family!" on Winchester Patch's Facebook page.
When news came out yesterday that Donohue Jr. was out of surgery and in stable, if still serious condition, Woburn Patch reader Melisa Doherty shared her relief.
"God bless him!" she said. "He's a hero! Prayers to him and his family!"
Across the state, people are doing what they can for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and the police officers injured in the line of duty.
In Woburn there was a blood drive today. Red Cross volunteer Sara Raymond said the number of walk-ins exceeded those who came by appointment and that some people waited over and hour-and-a-half to donate.
One of those donating was Chris Schindler of Woburn, who said he doesn't normally give blood but felt compelled to do so today.
"I woke up and thought that there must be a lot of people in need this week," he said. "This week's events opened my eyes to that."
Donohue, a 1998 graduate of Winchester High School, was a yearbook contributor, National Honor Society member and a member of the mens' cross country, spring and winter track teams, according to the class of 1998 yearbook. He also was voted by his classmates as the "most hyper," according to the class superlatives page of the yearbook.