Roanoke honors VMI grad injured in shootout with bombing suspects

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -- This weekend in Roanoke folks recognized a man many are calling a hero.

Richard Donohue, the police officer shot during the altercation with the Boston bombing suspects early Friday, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute.

A ceremony to honor Donohue took place before a VMI cadet football scrimmage on Saturday.

“Dic is a friend and a class mate of mine from VMI. We matriculated together; obviously, we were horrified to hear he was injured,” said friend Jake Copty.

Donohue was shot when he met face to face with the Boston bombing suspects. His injuries landed him in surgery Friday and sources close to him said he has pulled through.

Alumni said though they were upset over news of the shooting, there is a sense of pride that one of their own was there.

“I’m sure he put himself in harm’s way for the purpose of saving or helping someone else,” VMI alumnus Patrick Henderson said. “There is also a bit of pride in terms of knowing that there was VMI guy there, that when he was called upon to do his duty, he was there and he wanted to truly do what we were taught to do, be citizens soldiers, to be able to help our fellow man.

On the field, a friend of Donohue accepted a signed football from the VMI football team and a plaque in his honor.

“I'm very happy to represent our class and honoring his sacrifice,” said Copty.

Copty said the thanking Donohue means a lot since many at VMI hope they would do the same if they were in the cop's shoes. He said Donohue’s actions also sets a tangible example for future graduates.

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