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Harris County deputy reports for duty after nearly six months of recovery from deadly 2021 ambush

Deputy Juqaim Barthen was one of two deputies seriously injured in an October shooting that killed fellow deputy Kareem Atkins.

SPRING, Texas — An officer that's been recovering from a tragic 2021 shooting is set to be back on duty by Monday.

Deputy Juqaim Barthen was one of three deputies that were ambushed on October 16, 2021. They were working an extra security job at a bar in the 4400 block of the North Freeway near Crosstimbers.

According to Precinct 4, deputies Kareem Atkins and Darryl Garett were arresting a robbery suspect when another person shot them. Barthen heard the gunfire, rushed over and was immediately shot.

Deputy Atkins died from the shooting and Barthen and Garett were sent to the hospital. Deputy Barthen was released days after and has been recovering ever since.

Constable Mark Herman's Office announced plans to welcome Deputy Barthen back to full duty at 2 p.m. on Monday. A representative from the office said he's been going through medical procedures and physical therapy for months.

"It takes a strong, selfless man to return to work after the horrific ambush him and his brothers in blue endured the night of this tragedy," said Constable Herman.

The Precinct 4 office is inviting the community to celebrate Barthen's return at their headquarters in Spring. They'll also be praying prayer for Deputy Garrett's recovery.

Note: The following video was uploaded on October 20, 2021

What's happened since the October ambush?

Almost two months after the deadly shooting, one suspect has been arrested. 

Eddie Miller, 19, was charged with capital murder in December for the death of Deputy Atkins, attempted capital murder and aggravated assault in regards to the shooting of Deputy Constables Darryl Garrett and Jaqaim Barthen.

Miller was being held without bond at the time. He was officially denied bond in March 2022.

Note: The following video was uploaded on March 7, 2022

According to the Constable's Office, Deputy Darryl Garrett is still in the hospital for his injuries. Days after the shooting, his fiancée told KHOU 11 that he was going in and out of surgery.

She said the deputy was shot in the back and the priority for the doctors was to remove the bullet fragments that were inside him that damaged some of his organs. They also had to remove both of his kidneys and gall bladder.

Deputy Garrett's GoFundMe page is still taking donations as well as Deputy Barthen's to help cover medical expenses.

RELATED: 'They do everything together' | Fiancée describes relationship among deputy constables who were shot early Saturday

Note: The following video was uploaded in Oct. 2021

Deputy Kareem Atkins was laid to rest by the end of October 2021. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also proclaimed Oct. 25 as Kareem Atkins Day. 

His wife Nadia and family have been granted almost $40,000 by supporters. He leaves behind two children under 4 years old.

Deputy Atkins is being remembered as a good friend, a good worker and a loving family man.

"At the end of the day, we need a Kareem in our lives," family friend Jimmy Vitela said at his funeral. "We need a Kareem that could make us laugh. We need a Kareem that can hold us. We need a Kareem that can always tell us it’s going to be OK even though sometimes it feels like it’s not."

The deputy's GoFundMe page is also open for donations.

Note: The following video was uploaded in Oct. 2021

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