DENVER (CBS4) – Officer Tony Lopez Jr. was critically injured in a traffic stop shooting on Dec. 8, and since then the outpouring of support for him has been tremendous.

Lopez, a Denver police officer, lost nearly his entire blood supply after he was shot and donated blood helped save his life.

Tony Lopez Jr. got a visit from former Colorado Rockies player Vinny Castilla (credit: Instagram)

Tony Lopez Jr. got a visit from former Colorado Rockies player Vinny Castilla (credit: Instagram)

“He almost lost all of his blood and almost lost his life,” said Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez, who is also Lopez Jr.’s father. “I made my son a promise I’d keep my bullet proof vest on and we’d donate blood so I’m here to do that today.”

On Wednesday, Lopez took his first steps in his recovery and he was also visited in the hospital by Broncos cornerback Taurean Nixon, who plays on the practice squad.

Officer Tony Lopez Jr. (credit: Denver Police)

Officer Tony Lopez Jr. (credit: Denver Police)

“It’s heartwarming, I can tell you we are blown away by the support,” said Lopez.

Lopez also shared some family news that his son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first child in May of next year.

So the soon-to-be grandfather and the Denver Chief of Police rolled up their sleeves for a good cause, while both sheepishly confessed their strong aversion to needles, “I’d rather chase bad guys.”

On Thursday a blood drive was organized at the Denver police headquarters in Lopez’s honor. People who wished to donate blood at that location weren’t able to because the drive was booked after nearly 200 people filled the available slots.

However, representatives from Bonfils Blood Center say they have all of their donation locations in Colorado open on Thursday and any day for people who would like to donate blood.

Bonfils collected 99 blood donations at the Officer Tony Lopez Jr. Blood Drive at the Denver Police Protective Association Event Center. Another 193 have donated in honor of Officer Lopez over the past week at Bonfils donor centers, and that number is still growing.

Additional Resources

The following information about Thursday’s blood donation opportunity for those interested in helping in Lopez’s honor is provided by the Denver Police Department:

Go to any Bonfils Blood Center, using code #7281 or you can simply mention the Officer Lopez Honorary Blood Drive at any of Bonfils’ six community donor centers. Appointments can be made by calling 303-363-2300 or at bonfils.org.

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