DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas Police corporal on leave while recovering from an accidental shooting jumped back into action Saturday to help save a man suffering a heart attack.
Senior Corporal Darian Loera was attending the Bishop’s Awards Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin Guadalupe in downtown Dallas, where his parents were being honored.
The diocese confirmed Ron Heflin, a photographer hired to take pictures of those receiving awards, collapsed in the reception area.
“People around him were trying to wake him up,” said Cpl Loera. “My first thought was CPR and I started chest compressions.”
He was joined by a registered nurse, Magali Reynoso.
“As soon as I told myself I really a defibrillator, someone was handing her a defibrillator and she’s pulling it out and getting it going,” he said.
Last November, Loera was the one whose life hung in the balance.
A bandage on his lower left leg covers the gunshot wound he suffered searching an apartment as part of the Dallas Police SWAT team.
“With the gear I had on, I got wedged between the door frame and the door,” he recalled. “The rifle that was slung in front of me over my vest discharged three times.”
Fellow officers used a tourniquet to stop the heavy bleeding.
“They talked to me, kept me alive and kept me alert,” said Loera.
He survived, and so did Heflin.
“Ron and his entire family are extremely grateful,” said Annette Taylor-Gonzales, a diocese spokesperson who was working with Heflin and called 911. “They know that they had angels in that cathedral that day and they know that they’re responsible for him being here.”
Loera is grateful, too, that this time he was the one able to help.
“I imagined myself in those apartments. I didn’t want to die that day either. So I can appreciate he felt that way,” he said.