John Barnes (Police Officer)

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Photo of John Barnes with his wife Ashley Barnes [3]

John Barnes is a School Resource Officer with the Santa Fe ISD ​ Police Department in Santa Fe, Texas ​​. On Friday, May 18, 2018 Barnes was hit by a shotgun ​ blast while confronting school shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis who killed ten people in the Santa Fe High School Shooting (2018) ​. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and recovered to stable condition after surgery.​ [2] [4]


Personal Life

John Barnes is married to Ashley Barnes who is a teacher with the Santa Fe ISD ​. The couple have a son and daughter. The family live in League City, Texas ​. [2] [3]


Photo of John Barnes wearing a suit [2]

John Barnes began his career in law enforcement ​ as a Jailer ​ with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) in Tarrant County, Texas ​ in 1991. The following year he was appointed as a Peace Officer ​ with the TCSO. Barnes left TCSO in August 1993. [4]

John Barnes studied at the Houston Police Academy graduating and becoming an officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) ​ in May 1995. He worked in the Southwest Houston ​ patrol for years before transferring to an investigations assignment in 2005. As a police detective ​ he tracked down pedophiles ​ and sexual predators ​. [2]

According to HPD Chief Art Acevedo, John Barnes is "known for his tireless work in Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. [2]

Over the course of his career, he accumulated almost 6,000 training hours and numerous department awards for his investigative work. In 2008, he was named Reactive Investigator of the year for his work on an internet sex crimes case, according to Badge and Gun, the magazine published by the Houston Police Officers’ Union. [2]

While at the HPD, John Barnes was nicknamed “Tarrant County." He was well known for telling other officers they should all watch the 1973 movie “ Serpico ​”. It was a reference to the true story of a dogged New York City Police ​ detectives who fought rampant corruption on the force. [2]

His friend, HPD Captain Jim Dale said, “He didn’t want anything to taint the badge,” Dale said. “He had the utmost respect for the profession.” [2]

In January 2018 he retired from HPD after 23 years with the department. On January 5, 2018 Barnes joined the Santa Fe ISD Police Department, a move that would let him work closer to his home in League City. [2]

Santa Fe High School Shooting

Mugshot ​ of the suspected shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis [3]

During the Santa Fe High School Shooting (2018) ​ on Friday, May 18, 2018 John Barnes and another officer rushed into Santa Fe ISD High School, where they confronted the 17-year-old student accused in the shooting, Dimitrios Pagourtzis. [2]

Pagourtzis shot John Barnes with a shotgun ​, badly wounding Barnes, according to HPD Capt. Jim Dale, a close friend of Barnes. A Texas Department of Public Safety ​ trooper with Barnes fired off a shot before Pagourtzis surrendered. [2]

Dale said Barnes was taken in critical condition ​ to University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) ​, where the heart of the injured officer stopped twice as paramedics ​ and doctors ​ worked to stem bleeding from wounds in both arms and repair the damage caused by the shotgun blast. [2]

“He went to the fight. He was willing to give up his life to save as many children as possible,” said Houston Police Chaplain ​ Monty Montgomery, another friend. “That’s a big difference than what we’ve seen some other times.” [2]

Around 6 p.m., the officer was out of surgery ​, according to UTMB. At an earlier briefing, UTMB Hospital doctors explained that Barnes, who was shot in the elbow ​, was expected to come out of surgery “in the next couple of hours” as surgeons finished the exacting work of fixing the damage caused by the multiple projectiles of a shotgun blast. [2]

Chief Medical Officer Gulshan Sharma said surgeons ​ were repairing injuries to the bone ​ and blood vessel ​ in Barnes’ elbow. [2]

Immediately following the shooting, Barnes was “ bleeding out ​ and his blood pressure ​ was very low,” Sharma said. By Friday afternoon, Barnes’ vital signs ​ were stable and showed some “good signs at this point.” [2]

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