John Barnes, the school police officer who confronted the shooter at Santa Fe High School on Friday, has had a long career in law enforcement, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Barnes, 49, and another officer confronted Dimitros Pagourtzis, the 17-year-old junior accused in the shooting.
Barnes was wounded from a shotgun blast, according to Houston Police Department Capt. Jim Dale, a close friend of the police officer. A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper with Barnes fired off a shot before Pagourtzis surrendered, the Chronicle reported.
He went to the fight. He was willing to give up his life to save as many children as possible,” Houston Police Chaplain Monty Montgomery told the Chronicle.
Dale said Barnes was taken in critical condition to University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the Chronicle reported.
Doctors said Barnes remains in critical condition, KHOU reported.
Barnes worked for 23 years in the Houston Police Department, joining the department in May 1995 and retiring in January 2018, KHOU reported. He worked in southwest Houston area and began doing investigative work in 2005, KHOU reported.
Barnes also did work in the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children task force, investigating pedophiles and sexual predators. He earned Reactive Investigator of the year honors in 2008, according to Badge and Gun, a magazine published by the Houston Police Officers’ Union.
According to records obtained from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Barnes began his career working as a jailer and deputy for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. He accumulated almost 6,000 training hours and numerous department awards for his investigative work, the Chronicle reported.