ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — An Arlington police officer injured in a dramatic shootout captured by police body cameras, said he never knew the man he was chasing had a weapon.
The flash from the gun barrel was the first clue Corporal Alex Quintanilla had that he was in danger as he ran across a dark parking lot in January, trying to catch 20-year-old Tre’Shun Miller.
The bullet hit Quintanilla in the hip, damaging nerves and keeping the muscles in his left leg from moving. He fell to the ground, with shouts of pain captured on the videos, but said his next instinct was to get back in the fight.
“After about three or four seconds, I knew that I was still hearing gunshots,” Quintanilla said. “I started looking for my gun.”
Quintanilla talked about the night publicly for the first time Wednesday, after being honored with other first responders at the Star of Texas Awards at the state capitol in Austin.
He was at the traffic stop that night as backup for another officer. She had pulled the car over for not using a turn signal, then smelled marijuana and found it was connected to an earlier drug case.
Video shows Miller run after stepping out of the car so officers could pat him down.
Quintanilla said he wasn’t really in fear for his life after the shooting, until he was at the hospital and doctors couldn’t stop the pain.
“By that time, my parents had come in from out of town, my wife and my child were there. Kinda figured if this is it, I’m surrounded by who I want to be surrounded by,” he said.
While doctors cautioned he may not be able to use his left leg again, he has recovered enough to return to work. He’s assigned to what he called “a good comeback job,” working security for games and large events in the city.
“As long as they allow me to have a job there, I’ll be there,” Quintanilla said.