GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Four months have passed since the Garland terror attack that left a security guard injured. Now, that guard is telling his story for the first time in an exclusive interview with CBS 11 News, and sharing his struggle with PTSD since.
Bruce Joiner is the only Garland Independent School District security officer to have on-duty bullet wounds, and symptoms of PTSD. “It’s definitely a real issue,” said Joiner. “Everything is a little more intense. I’m not conscious of it, but I’m aware of it.”
Joiner was shot on May 3 when Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. “When I saw them get out with rifles, my initial reaction was it was just a practical joke,” said Joiner.
The two ISIS wannabes were intent on using their high-powered guns on those attending a Mohammed cartoon contest. As a guard there, Joiner was in charge of checking arriving cars. “The passenger had a very ‘I got you’ smile,” he said.
It was not a joke, and Joiner, who the school district did not allow to carry a weapon, ran for cover. “One of the patrol officers yelled at me, ‘Are you hit?'” recalled Joiner. He was. While Joiner was on the ground with a leg wound, the two terrorists were killed by Garland police.
Two months later, Joiner recovered enough to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. “That’s the one thing I won’t go into a lot, just because I get emotional,” Joiner explained. “But that would’ve been a disaster not to have an able to walk her down the aisle.”
The 58-year-old man said he came close to losing his leg. But now, he is back at work, though still struggling from the trauma of a face-to-face encounter with terrorists. “There is a line in the sand with that day, how sensitive I am,” said Joiner. “I’m very fortunate to come out of this the way I did.”
In the chaos that followed the foiled attack, Joiner and other sources said that a third man, never identified by authorities, was detained near the scene as a possible suspect, claiming to be working with the FBI. Whether he was an undercover agent or an informant is something that law enforcement agents will not talk about.