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El Centro Officers Continued To Work Despite Being Wounded In Ambush

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - El Centro College revealed for the first time late Sunday that two of its officers were injured in Thursday's police ambush in downtown Dallas, and that both of those officers continued to work despite their wounds. Chief David Brown with the Dallas Police Department confirmed on Monday that this increased the injury count to 14 officers.

According to the school, Det. Cpl. Bryan Shaw was hit under his vest by a bullet during the attack.

"Following the initial chaos and confusion, early accounts indicated that Cpl. Shaw was actually shot when the suspect began to shoot out the glass doors at the Lamar entrance," spokesperson Ann Hatch said in a statement. "The bullets broke through the glass and into the building. Cpl. Shaw was hit under his vest by one of those bullets as he guarded the entrance."

Bryan Shaw
Bryan Shaw (credit: El Centro College Police Department)

Despite his injuries, Hatch said, Shaw returned to "protect other officers and civilians with bullet fragments still lodged in his stomach." He was not examined by medics until 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Shaw will require surgery, but is now resting at home with his family, the school added.

Ofc. John Abbott was also guarding the entrance along Lamar Street and suffered lacerations to both legs from the flying glass caused by the bullets being fired.

"Abbott first went to the immediate aid of downed DART officer Brent Thompson," Hatch explained. "He attempted to render aid and save Thompson's life, but the DART officer was mortally wounded and died on the scene." Abbott then took care of his own injuries before returning to protect other officers and civilians. He is also now recovering at home with his family.

John Abbott
John Abbott (credit: El Centro College Police Department)

"The El Centro College Police Department has shown true heroism as they protected the safety of our students, staff, civilians and other officers involved in Thursday's shooting," Hatch said. The department's chief and three other officers responded to the attack. Many more off-duty officers returned to work in the days that followed. "We salute you, and we appreciate you."

The downtown campus buildings remain closed through July 17.

Meanwhile, the search for evidence continues in downtown Dallas on Monday, where the crime scene remains barricaded and investigators with the Dallas Police Department, the FBI and the ATF work on putting everything together. "If you can picture a jigsaw puzzle in a box," said Senior Special ATF Agent Nicole Strong, "and you take the lid off and drop it, and all the pieces scatter to the floor. That's how hard it is to put this together."

Over the past four days, those investigators have covered the area with a fine-tooth comb, marking dozens of bullet fragments and other pieces of evidence. The ATF is working to trace guns and ammunition to determine when and where shooter Micah Johnson purchased his weapons.

Every shell casing that is found will eventually be turned over to the ATF and run through a national crime database. "What if that gun was purchased 12 hours versus 12 years before," added Strong. "That may give us some insight into the motivation of the shooter."

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