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Texas SWAT officer, recovering from gunshot wound, helped save life of man who collapsed at church

Dallas Senior Cpl. Darian Loera helped save a photographer's life at a downtown Dallas Catholic church over the weekend. (Image source: KTVT video screenshot)

A Dallas police officer, who was recovering from an accidental gunshot wound, didn't hesitate to help save a man who collapsed at a local church service on Saturday.

What happened?

Senior Cpl. Darian Loera was attending a ceremony for his parents at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin Guadalupe in downtown Dallas when he noticed an "older gentleman" lying on the floor in the church's reception area.

“People around him were trying to wake him up,” Loera told KTVT-TV. “My first thought was I needed to start CPR, and I started chest compressions.”

Magali Reynoso, a nurse, also stepped in to help.

“As soon as I told myself I really need a defibrillator, someone was handing her a defibrillator, and she’s pulling it out and getting it going,” Loera said.

The man, identified as Ron Heflin, suffered a heart attack while working as a photographer at the event.

Loera's quick thinking helped save Heflin's life.

“Ron and his entire family are extremely grateful,” said Annette Taylor-Gonzales, a Catholic Diocese of Dallas spokesperson. “They know that they had angels in that cathedral that day and they know that they’re responsible for him being here.”

How did Loera get shot?

Last November, Loera was searching an apartment with the Dallas Police SWAT team when his weapon accidentally discharged, shooting him in the left leg.

“With the gear, I had on, I got wedged between the door frame and the door,” Loera said. “The rifle that was slung in front of me over my vest discharged three times.”

Leora said his fellow officers saved his life.

“They talked to me, kept me alive and kept me alert,” Loera said, adding that they wrapped a tourniquet on him to help slow the bleeding.

When he saw Heflin lying on the floor, it reminded him of his own near-death experience, and he jumped into action.

“I imagined myself in those apartments. I didn’t want to die that day either," he said.

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