ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Arlington police officer that survived being shot while trying to serve a warrant in Saginaw credits his faith, and an FBI agent for saving his life.
The suspect in the murder of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher shot Arlington police Detective Charles Lodatto on July 23. Today the lawman held his first press conference since being released from Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.
Lodatto recalled being shot and said he knew he was in trouble when, “I saw the blood shooting out of my pants.”
From the beginning of the press conference, Lodatto said he wanted something to be clear. “Sitting here beside me is the true hero of this story — Special Agent Andy Farrell. He’s been a partner of mine for the past eight years. When we walked into this situation he ‘bear hugged’ the guy with the gun.”
Agent Farrell later explained, “When I was wrestling with him [Holder] the gun went off.”
The bullet hit Detective Lodatto in the right groin and cut his femoral artery in two. After immobilizing murder suspect Tyler Holder, Farrell used Lodatto’s belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from his leg.
While the shooting truly put Detective Lodatto in a life or death situation, he said his focus was always very clear. “I never thought I was gonna die in this situation; based on my Christian faith and then the training provided to me by the Arlington Police Department, and my experience as a tactical officer.”
Lodatto still has a bullet in his body and faces more medical rehabilitation and possibly more surgery. Despite his current medical condition the 21-year police veteran said he is anxious to get back to work. “This is a calling for me, this job is. I enjoy it passionately. I think this is what God wants me to do with my life. I enjoy it. I can’t wait to get back to it.”
During the press conference Detective Lodatto’s wife, Chauntel, recalled she had to break the news that her husband had been shot to their two children. “My kids took it really hard of course, like anyone’s children would. It was very traumatic for them.”
When asked about the 17-year-old now charged with attempted capital murder for shooting him and capital murder for Alanna Gallagher’s death, Lodatto said, “He’s obviously a troubled youth that needs to be saved. I hope through this incident he can find peace.”
From all appearances Detective Lodatto appears to be doing remarkably well. He said he hopes to return to work in September.
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