Gulfport Police Officer Luis Garcia is a hero behind the badge. However, he is in serious but stable condition for his heroics following a massive collision that occurred during a vehicle pursuit. As a result, he is being saluted by citizens who credit him with saving their lives.

On Monday, January 22nd, Gulfport police officers responded to a call of a stolen vehicle. One of their officers spotted the automobile speeding down Highway 49. Consequently, the officer attempted to make a stop. Yet the suspect sped away leading police on a high speed pursuit.

During the chase Gulfport Police Officer Luis Garcia, a 10-year veteran, took it upon himself to place his vehicle in the middle of an intersection to stop other vehicles from coming through. This is a common safety pre-caution exercised by police officers in an effort to prevent serious injury or death to uninvolved motorist driving in cross-traffic.

As he was sitting in the middle of the intersection, the suspect crashed into him while traveling at a high rate of speed. Consequently, Garcia had to be cut out of the car and sustained several serious injuries.

Gulfport police officer Luis Garcia

Officer Luis Garcia recovering in the hospital. (Photo courtesy Kristen Stachura Allen)

One witness says she is thankful for her family’s lives. She says that Officer Garcia saved the lives of her family to include her boyfriend and young daughter as well as many others that night. In her Facebook post she stated that had Garcia not positioned himself in the middle of the intersection, the reckless, speeding suspect would have crashed into them possibly killing them and several others. She said that his actions are the most courageous act she has ever witnessed and hailed him a true hero.

This isn’t the first time that Luis Garcia has been hailed a hero.

In April of 2015, Officer Garcia was praised and received the “Life Saving” medal for his actions in saving the life of a suicidal man.  On April 22nd, 2015, Gulfport Police responded to the Kremer Bridge in Gulfport and found a man with a rope-like object tied around his neck that was tethered to the bridge and he was threatening to jump. Garcia calmly and methodically saved his life. And not from talking, but from listening as the lead negotiator.  Finally, after negotiating for an hour and a half, the gentleman untied the rope and allowed officers to walk him away from the scene.

Gulfport police officer Luis Garcia

Officer Luis Garcia successfully negotiating suicidal man from danger. (Photo courtesy James Edward Bates)

Garcia remains hospitalized and is currently listed as stable but serious condition. He is expected to make a full recovery and will hopefully be back on the streets patrolling again soon.

Thank you Officer Luis Garcia for being willing to lay down your life to protect others in the community that you serve.  You demonstrate what a true hero is made of.

Gulfport police officer Luis Garcia

– Kristin Stachura Allen