Alejandro Hernandez was opening letters of encouragement and gifts from his classmates in his hospital bed before he was discharged by doctors. The 6-year-old still has a bullet lodged in his chest. Doctors say it will be safer to leave it there for now.
"He told me that he was going to be happy that he's coming home," said Alejandro's sister, Elia Hernandez.
FOX40 spoke by video phone with Alejandro's sister and other family members in Tehama County, all anxious for Alejandro's return, and the good news it would be for a hurting community.
"It's hard," said Alejandro's cousin, Alondra Cruz-Mendoza. "They want to come back home, but they don't feel safe. He says, 'I don't want to go back to school.'"
Alejandro Hernandez was hiding under his desk at Rancho Tehama Elementary School when police say an armed man, thwarted by locked doors, shot into the school. Hernandez was hit twice.
"I've talked to some parents who've said, 'My daughter is having nightmares. My son can't sleep at night, can't go to the bathroom alone,'" Cruz-Mendoza said. "We've seen the shooter's face on the news, it's plastered everywhere and it's really hard, you know? That monster has a face now."
On Sunday, Alejandro, with his leg in a cast, still unable to walk, was taking his first step toward healing.
He has been released from UC Davis Medical Center and has moved into a house nearby in Sacramento. He will stay there for the next few days before he transitions back home.