Tony Garces got more than he bargained for when he walked into the Faith City Mission last month in Amarillo, Texas.
The same day a degenerate in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students and teachers, another gunman tried to take hostage over 100 people in the mission’s chapel.
Garces managed to wrestle the firearm away from the suspect, but a short time later was shot twice by police: once in the back and once in the lung.
He survived the encounter but returned to the hospital last week to be treated for a blood clot in his lung, according to NBC News.
Some take Garces’ experience as evidence against arming teachers in schools, a proposal currently endorsed by President Trump.
“If this proves anything, it proves that when a situation is that tense and you’ve got officers trained to shoot first, and have been told by the law to shoot first if you’re remotely threatened, they’re going to feel threatened when they see a teacher with a gun,” said Jeff Blackburn, Garces’s lawyer.
“When you have officers who are ready to use lethal force they’re going to use it.”
But a closer look at the incident reveals that Garces’ actions, though brave, weren’t the most cautious.
Garces told NBC that the suspect entered the church and told the attendees he wanted to hold them hostage for several days. He ordered a woman to zip-tie Garces’ hands, but the woman left one of the ties loose.
When a few other people lunged towards the gunman, Garces went after his weapon.
“As soon as I moved, he pulled the trigger,” Garces said. “It hit the wall.”
Garces disarmed the suspect, but instead of placing the gun out of reach, he took the handgun with him as he fled through a side door.
He was carrying the gun upside down with both hands when he encountered a police officer, who ordered Garces to drop the weapon.
“I started bending down to put it on the ground,” Garces said. “I didn’t want to drop it. It would go off. That’s when he shot me.”
Garces did not explain why he fled the chapel even after the suspect had been subdued or why he decided to take the gun with him.
That suspect, identified in a separate statement as Joshua Len Jones, 35, was booked on six charges of aggravated kidnapping.
The Amarillo Police Department has admitted to the incident but has not said why the officer pulled the trigger.