THE BRONX - Applause and flowers greeted an emotional NYPD officer who was released from a hospital Wednesday, days after she was shot in a public-housing complex.

Police officers lined either side of a pathway outside Lincoln Medical Center as Officer Diara Cruz was wheeled out of the Bronx hospital. They applauded her and handed her flowers as bagpipes played nearby. Cruz wiped tears from her eyes.

Cruz's patrol partner, Officer Patrick Espeut, helped her get out of her wheelchair as she walked slowly to a waiting vehicle.

Cruz was shot in the abdomen last Thursday while conducting a vertical patrol with Espeut at the Melrose Houses in the Bronx. She is expected to make a full recovery.

"When you get that call to come to an emergency room, you think the worst," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. "But within days, she's rising, and she's walking. She's what a New York City cop is all about."

Espeut, who was shot in the cheek during the confrontation, was released five days ago.

The suspect, 23-year-old Malik Chavis, ran away after the shooting and killed himself, according to police.