Editor Note: This story is graphic and may be difficult for some people to read. It also contains graphic images.
Misty McBride was attacked while on duty. Thankfully, she survived, and joined us to tell her story, which can be which can be found here.
The entire reason we launched LET Unity was to give a voice to officers like Misty who have never been able to tell their stories. It’s a tragic story – but also one filled with hope. With lessons. And with a dose of reality that America needs.
Proceeds from LET Unity memberships go directly back into telling the stories of warriors like Misty. We hope you’ll consider signing up. The mainstream media isn’t giving them a platform. Social media is censoring them. Help us to help them. Here is her story:
July 7, 2016
Originally, I had just started out my normal shift. I worked downtown Dallas. I was assigned to the West End area, which is where every train goes through. It’s the hub of Dart.
Everything goes through downtown. It’s going to go through West End. I was a patrol officer assigned there.
Normally worked 1:00 p.m. to 9 p.m., normal shift. We jumped out; we are catching calls. About 8:30, I was having dinner with my partner, two blocks away from the West End.
And then we got a text saying we had stayed till 10:00.
I’m kind of bummed. I want to go home. I’m tired, I’ve been out here. I was almost off shift and that was a last minute call.
There was a lot of protests going on downtown and they had headed towards the West End area and they were kind of picking up in number. So, they just want us to stay till everybody was gone and the protests were over with. Just to make sure that downtown can kind of get cleared out.
So, they just said hang out for another hour.
I went back down towards the West End. I actually drove a partner’s car. He wouldn’t let me walk two blocks to go eat dinner. He gave me his squad car. I drove it back, parked it, and gave him the keys. I said, “Hey, I need a ride in. I gave my car away to my partner, because she needed one.”
I walked out one door, he walked out another. I’m thinking I’ll see him in about 45 minutes.
He’s going to gas up the car. I’m standing around on a corner in downtown, myself, another officer and a bunch of pedestrians. Just standing there talking about the protest, from the MLK protests and how things have changed over the years, how the protests have changed.
And then, all of the sudden, we heard a pop. We start looking around and then we hear pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
You’re telling everybody to get back, get away, get away.
My partner and I started running and then everyone started calling out, “there’s an active shooter.” So, we’re running, we hear the pop and start run to it. That’s what we’re trained to do, I’m going to do it.
There were three other officers with DART that were running on the other side of the street towards it.
I made it, probably, a half a block. And I felt a punch in my left arm. It flew up, like somebody just punched me. Flew up and came down and then it started burning like someone had a lighter to the back of it. I could move my fingers, but I couldn’t lift my arm.
I remember looking up saw a whole bunch of bright lights. It felt like I was in the middle of a football field because of all the lights. Downtown Dallas, there’s like one streetlight right there.
So, I was like no, this isn’t happening.
Shook my head, threw myself on the ground and started crawling, because I knew something’s wrong. I could not use my left arm at all. I start crawling. On my right side, I heard gunfire. And then it stopped.
My partner had run up to me and I remember saying I’m hit.
“Chris, I’m hurt. There’s something wrong.”
And then on the left side I heard gunfire. So, he picks me up. We start dodging. We’re actually at a plaza, Rosa Parks Plaza. There’s trees, little planters, all through there. So, we’re dodging, trying to basically get off the X, get out there.
We ran around the corner and I couldn’t hear any shots. I couldn’t hear the radio. I could barely hear anything he’s saying.
There was a train that had stopped, because the gunfire, on the tracks. Another officer ran around the train and ran to me. I’m standing there and I’m thinking somethings wrong with my arm. It hurts.
And the other officer ran up and said:
“Misty, how do I fix you?”
I don’t know. The other officer had his hands wrapped around my arm, just said:
“I got you. This is gonna hurt.”
He’s trying to put pressure on my arm. I got him to get my tourniquet out. Obviously, if your putting pressure, I’m bleeding.
They put my tourniquet on, their messing with that and I’m still yelling at people to get back.
They finally get a tourniquet on, and we start running more. My partner I gave my squad car to had driven down the tracks when she heard I got hit. They threw me in a squad car, and we took off. She headed towards the hospital with me.
I got shot with an AK-47. It went in through my bicep and blew out my tricep. I have a plate and 11 screws. I’ve lost half my tricep, bicep and deltoid. I have nerve damage.
Once I got to the hospital, then they found out I had more injuries.
After getting everything cut off, they found I got shot through the vest, through my abdomen. The bullet was actually laying on my stomach. That one was millimeters away from going into my stomach and actually doing damage from getting into the organs.
The doctor said I was millimeters away from losing my arm because, if the vibration is what broke the bone, if the bullet had actually hit my bone, it would fracture the bone, which would have torn the nerves and I probably would’ve lost my arm.
And then after that we found out that I took two more bullets. One in the radio, that actually broke off, it was on my hip. That would’ve been the second one through my stomach because it broke off. And then my fourth one went right across my pectoral muscle.
Misty was shot a total of four times. It is amazing that she survived. So, what would she say to others out there like herself?
You’re going to see us out there. You know, all of us that were affected are still out there. You can’t get rid of us. We just keep coming back.
Misty lost 5 brothers that day. She was one of 9 wounded. To be able to come back from such a tragedy is remarkable. It speaks highly of Misty’s character and of the character of all the officers that were involved that day.
Bryan Shaw was also shot in that same sniper attack. His story can be found here.
Just months after he was shot… his brother, Texas State Trooper Danny Shaw, was shot at the border – hit by a bullet that came from the Mexico side. You’ll find his story below Bryan’s.
My wife told me:
“You got shot and kept going and didn’t stop and did everything that you were supposed to do.”
Like, I still cleared the person I saw after I got shot, while they were still shooting to make sure that they were safe.
So, she told me:
“That is what you were made to do. I’m not going to tell you to quit because that’s who you are.”
I’ve been in law enforcement about six years. I’m with the college district, so we patrol the college campuses.
The most life changing part would be the day I got shot, on July 7, 2016 in downtown Dallas at El Centro College.
I was there the day that parts of downtown were shut down from protests taking place.
It all started the day before. We had heard that there was going to be a bigger protest on Thursday. There was a protest on Wednesday of about 200 people there marching around. We had five officers on duty that night. We happened to be outside.
They started marching towards the school, saw us, turned a different direction and that was about the end of that protest.
So, then Thursday comes along. We’ve been watching, following social media and everything. They’re expecting fifteen hundred, two thousand people to show up for this protest. So we knew we knew this was going to be a lot bigger protest.
I’d been talking with another officer from DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). She’s been keeping me in the loop on what she knows; I’ve been telling her stuff that I know.
So, I get on my shift at 3:00 p.m. We do our briefing and the sergeant comes up to me, because I was a corporal at the time, and tells me:
“Hey, I’m not going to be here. I have a viewing to go to. So, you’re going to be in charge.”
Okay, no problem. I’ve done it multiple times before. So, not a big deal.
Then she pulls out our gun safe key, which is normally kept downstairs in the basement where our PD is and the gun safes up on the first floor.
Normally I don’t carry that with me, but she told me:
“Here take this. You won’t need it, but just have it, just in case.”
Ok, so then we go about our patrols. We’re doing our normal activities. Then the chief calls me and says:
“Hey, change of plans. We’re going to want you lock down the doors and you’ll stay inside.”
Because normally during a protest, we’ve had one or two officers at Maine and Lamar; one or two a little bit further down the street, and one at Main and Market Street. Where the initial shooting took place was made on Lamar.
But the chief told us:
“No, you’re not going to be outside. I want you inside the school and have the doors locked.”
So, I call my guys tell them:
“Hey this is what we do.”
And they all complain:
“You know, I don’t want to do that. I want to be out there just like a typical patrolman, typical cop.”
“Hey, chief said that’s what we’re doing. So, that’s what we are doing.”
Then I tell them:
“Hey, protest is going to start around 7:00, 7:30 I think. Grab something to eat, meet back here at six thirty. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I want you all to have already eaten, not trying to be trying to get food later.”
So we meet up. We’re standing there. I’m getting texts from the officer, she tells me:
“Hey, there’s about 1500 people down here.”
They’re doing their rally down there. That’s two blocks away, but they’re about to start the protest. They’re about to start marching towards our campus, down to the JFK memorial.
Staying inside and keeping an eye on the building … that was still the plan. We had all the doors secured. We’re standing in, it has a little rotunda part that’s all glass, we were all standing in there watching them go by. We had five officers in there, including myself.
So, they go down towards Market Street towards the JFK memorial. Three of the officers go down toward that entrance and say:
“Hey, we’re going to keep an eye on that to make sure no one comes in, or if anything happens, they won’t start destroying our property.
So then right around 9:00, me and one of the officers are standing there in the rotunda, then we hear some gunshots.
I’m looking around a little confused. Where’d that come from. Then I hear some more.
So, we start going, I knew where the area was it was coming from. I start calling on the radio:
“Gunshots at Main and Lamar.”
So, the other officers meet up with us and we start to push through the doors. I’m leading the way, we’re pushing through the doors, then all the sudden the glass starts shattering around us. He showed at us about eight times.
The initial shooting started around 9:00. I was hit probably at 9:03. I got shot in the abdomen.
My wife reached out and told me that she was getting texts from some people she worked with.
“Hey, is Bryan working tonight? Is Bryan okay?”
She was getting ready for bed. She’d put the kids to bed and was getting ready for bed and didn’t have the TV on, and she’s texting them:
“Yes, what’s going on?”
But no one responded.
I text my wife. I told her I was hit, but I’m okay. Everything’s fine. I was able to keep her calm. I told her I would text her when I could. But I was ok.
Funny story about that part is, two weeks before, I was in a class for high risk search warrants and the instructor is with the ATF for Mississippi. He told us in the class:
“Not all gunshot wounds are fatal. They can be if you panic and get scared. You can cause your adrenaline to start pumping, and you start losing more blood, you go into shock.”
Heart and head, yeah those can be fatal but most of time they’re not.
And I told her that. I said:
“You know, that’s true. They’re not like that.”
So, having that class two weeks before, and I told her that, she was like:
“OK, well he told me already that not all gunshot wounds are fatal. So, he’s fine.”
After I got shot, I went down, then got back up into cover. I called the chief told him that we were taking fire.
One of the other officers was asking me:
“Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?”
I patted my side, told him I’m fine. You know:
“I’m fine, you’re fine, everything’s fine. But our radios don’t receive each other.”
So, I didn’t know if this was protesters shooting each other, two counter-protesters got into a shootout or what was going on. I didn’t know that we were the targets.
I drove myself to the hospital 15 hours later. Adrenaline is good.
Would Shaw ever consider hanging it up and leaving?
I was determined to stay in. My wife told me, “you got shot and kept going and didn’t stop and did everything that you were supposed to do.”
I still cleared a person I saw after I got shot, while they were still shooting, to make sure that they were safe. So, she told me “this is what you’re made to do. I’m not going to tell you to quit, because that is who you are.”
Later in the same year, Shaw’s brother Danny, who is also in law enforcement was shot. Considering the brothers were shot within a few months of each other, what advice would Shaw give to younger officers?
Always wear your vest. That’s 100%, all of the time, wear your vest. Mine went through the vest, but luckily, I think the vest slowed it down enough to where it didn’t kill me.
You know, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t wear their vest, and they’re not here today because of it. And always watch your six. Don’t get complacent. If you get complacent that’s when things happen to you.
There’s never a routine call. Every call is different. Not all gunshot wounds are fatal. I mean, you can survive a lot.
So, just pray!
Bryan’s brother, Danny Shaw, was shot while conducting border operations. Thankfully, he survived, and was able to join us to tell his story, which can be which can be found here.
Some shots rang out. One of the border patrol agents got hit in the chest. and then
I got hit and went down and was like… what just happened. My leg’s on fire. I can’t move my leg. I’ve been shot.
I was raised towards the Metroplex. I was a welder by trade and got laid off after 9/11. So, I tried to become a fireman. Nobody wanted me. So, I said the police will take me!
I got hired on with the county. I became a K9 handler and then became good friends with all the other state employees. It’s like, you know what, I think I’m on track.
So, for the past 10 years I’ve been with the State of Texas.
I’ve enjoyed getting into the narcotics aspect of it. Finding large amounts of dope on the highways. I enjoyed that more than anything. The interdiction part was fun.
But my worst day on the job… it was a bad one.
We’re doing border operations down in the valley. There was a firefight between some individuals. The Mexican state police, or military, they were firefighting down through the river. They finally came to a little spot, the bad guys ditched all the weapons and come over to our side, buried up in the water.
You know the helicopters today; we’ve got communications with them. Time for y’all to go get them, myself and the other guys lined up, getting ready to go.
Some shots rang out. One of the border patrol agents got hit in the chest; then I got hit and went down and it’s like, “what just happened?”
It’s like, “well, my legs on fire.”
I can’t move my leg. I’ve got to start yelling
“I’ve been shot.”
That’s when a few of the guys ran down grabbed me, dragged me back up to safety, got a tourniquet on me, cut my clothes off.
Then our helicopter landed, they threw me in the helicopter, a 30-minute helicopter ride to the hospital. I was hit, uh, about an inch above my penis. There’s no other way to say it. Right in the groin area. It went through. It took out 98 percent of my sciatic nerve, fractured my femur, and with it taking out the sciatic nerve, I’m paralyzed from the knee down.
I can’t feel anything. I can’t move anything. It was kind of like a limp noodle.
My brace allows me to walk, goes down the side and a plate across the bottom my foot, because I’ve got drop foot, lets me walk.
What was going through Shaw’s mind when he got shot?
I’ve got kids. I can’t die. I didn’t know how bad it was.
I was like:
“I got kids. I gotta go home. I’m going home.”
That’s all I could think about the whole time.
Shaw’s brother Bryan was shot in the line of duty just months before in the Dallas sniper attack. Surely that had to play a role in his thought process as he was going into the hospital.
Once I got to the hospital, they did all their stuff, and then because where the entry wound is, they said:
“Well, we have to do exploratory surgery.”
And I was like:
So, they knocked me out. When I woke up, I was in the recovery room and it was my mom and dad, my wife and both my brothers. It was good to see them. I wouldn’t expect them to be there, but they just happen to be in San Antonio. I think they might have gotten there about the same time as my parents, but they were all there.
“Well, I’m here.”
I made it, so that’s a plus.
Was it determined who had shot him?
No. Nobody talked about it. Unless somebody decides to confess, I’ll never know.
The shot that hit Shaw was estimated to have been fired from 200-250 feet away, from across the border. Was it apparent to him that he was targeted rather than just getting hit with a stray bullet?
Yeah, pretty intentional.
What about the damage to his leg, the surgeries and the rehabilitation process?
Well, they took nerves out of both calves, so on one calf, I got six slices about three inches, long all the way down. On the other one, I got seven. Same way, they took the nerve out of those and then filleted me open like a fish on my butt, and then I guess, rewired my sciatic nerve. They said it could be 12, 15, 20 years before I get feeling.
How does his family deal with not his shooting, but his brother’s shooting as well?
Well, I’m not sure how my Mom handles it. I really don’t, but through the church and all her friends praying.
What has gotten Shaw through this?
My family and God.
Any advice for someone going through something similar to what he went through?
It can’t get any worse. Just hang in there. You know people love you. Just hang on to your family and your religion whatever it might be. It’ll get you through it. You’ll get better. May not be today or tomorrow, but it’ll get better.
Special thanks to Bryan Shaw for sharing his story in a sit down interview, which can be found here.
Thanks to Danny Shaw for sharing his story as well, which can be which can be found here.
Once again, the entire reason we launched LET Unity was to give a voice to officers like Bryan, who have never been able to tell their stories. It’s a tragic story – but also one filled with hope. With lessons. And with a dose of reality that America needs.
Proceeds from LET Unity memberships go directly back into telling the stories of warriors like Bryan. We hope you’ll consider signing up. The mainstream media isn’t giving them a platform. Social media is censoring them. Help us to help them.