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GLOUCESTER TWP. – A Camden County police officer shot during a struggle with a suspect Wednesday night was welcomed home Saturday with hugs, balloons and praise.

About 50 officers stood at attention as Patrick O’Hanlon was wheeled out of Cooper University Hospital, Camden, around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

A police escort accompanied O’Hanlon, 21, to his Gloucester Township home, where brightly colored balloons floated at the front door and an American flag fluttered above the lawn.

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O’Hanlon, an avid fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, wore a Joel Embiid jersey as he emerged from the hospital. He and his family were driven to his home in the police vehicle of Deputy Chief Joseph Wysocki.

The rookie officer was rushed to Cooper around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday after he was shot at close range during a confrontation in Camden’s Centerville neighborhood.

O’Hanlon disarmed and subdued his alleged assailant, 19-year-old Delronn Mahan of Lindenwold, despite a “significant wound” to his leg, said Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson.

Mahan allegedly tried to shoot O’Hanlon a second time during the struggle but his gun jammed, a police source said.

Thomson praised O’Hanlon Saturday as “a guardian in every sense of the word.”

“The department, as a family, is extremely grateful that our brother officer survived the violent attack on his life,” the chief said.

O'Hanlon gave a thumbs up to the officers who gathered at Cooper, said Dan Keashen, a spokesman for the county department.

His father, Joe O’Hanlon, thanked the police department, his son’s fellow officers and Cooper's staff “for their work over the past 72 hours,” Keashen added.

O'Hanlon was on patrol Wednesday night when he stopped to question Mahan and two other men near 8th Street and Chelton Avenue, according to Thomson.

Mahan fled and O'Hanlon pursued him on foot.

Backup officers, who arrived moments after the shooting, applied a tourniquet to O'Hanlon's leg and rushed him to Cooper in a patrol car.

Other officers responding to the scene took Mahan into custody.

Mahan, who has at least two felony convictions since turning 18, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and other offenses. He is to have a pretrial detention hearing Wednesday.

“Officer O’Hanlon’s brave actions that night will ensure he is the last person this cowardly suspect will ever be able to hurt again,” Thomson said Saturday.

He said the wounded officer, who leaned on crutches while posing for a photograph with officers outside his home, faces “a long road of recovery."

Thomson vowed the police department “will be with him every step of the way.”

Jim Walsh; @jwalsh_CP; (856) 486-2646; jwalsh@gannettnj.com

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