ARNOLD, Mo. — Relatives of a suburban St. Louis police officer wounded in a shooting last month say he is making “small but significant improvements.”

Arnold officer Ryan O’Connor was shot in the head by a burglary suspect inside the officer’s police SUV on Dec. 5. The suspect, 29-year-old Chad Klahs, then fatally shot himself.

O’Connor underwent a five-hour surgery initially and has endured additional surgeries since then as well as a medically induced coma.

Arnold police posted an update from O’Connor’s family on the department’s Facebook page Thursday. The posting says O’Connor is breathing on his own and the ventilator has been removed. It says the family was surprised when he opened his eyes.

O’Connor is married with four children.

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