CBSN

Texas school resource officer "hanging in there" after being shot by shooting suspect, police say

The Houston police chief said Friday a Santa Fe school resource officer who was shot in the arm is "hanging in there." School police officer John Barnes was shot in the arm when the confronted suspected gunman Dimitrios Pagourtzis, officials said.

Doctors with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston say the officer has been in the operating room for several hours, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU reports. He remains in critical condition after he suffered a gunshot wound to the elbow.

"He was bleeding out and his blood pressure was very low, so the immediate issue was to resuscitate him and give him enough blood product to get his blood pressure up and take him straight to the OR," said a surgeon with UTMB.  

David Marshall, UTMB's chief nursing officer, said Friday afternoon that a bullet hit Barnes' arm, damaging the bone and a major blood vessel around his elbow. 

Marshall says Barnes was the first person to engage a student armed with two guns who opened fire at Santa Fe High School Friday morning. The shooter killed at least 10 people and injured 10 more. 

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he visited Barnes at the hospital, KHOU reports. Acevedo said Barnes became a HPD officer in May 1995 and retired from the department in January 2018.

He started his career in southwest Houston and began working in investigations in 2005.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised "heroes of law enforcement" who "rushed into harms way." 

"Teachers, students we know we're going to hear the bravery that manifested in the face of evil," Abbott said. "Bravery that we know was done in some instances at great cost and sacrifice, including the sacrifice of people's own lives. And we celebrate that bravery, that courage, at the same time we grieve the horror of this mass murder."