LEAGUE CITY, Texas – After spending more than a month at UTMB and TIRR Memorial Hermann, Santa Fe ISD Officer John Barnes is coming home. Barnes was shot during the devastating Santa Fe School shooting on May 18.
"Sometimes you're in the middle of a train wreck, and you just have to run through it," Barnes said.
Running through the chaos is what Barnes does. He was the officer who took a bullet from a lone gunman, protecting students.
"I'm glad we did our job," Barnes said. "I think we did it right. You know you always want to do better."
With a heart to serve, there isn't a day that he doesn't think of the 10 lives lost -- even though he could have lost his own.
Barnes was shot in the elbow, shattering an artery. The Santa Fe ISD assistant chief saved his life.
"When he was putting that tourniquet on me, we didn't know if that guy was going to come around the corner," Barnes said. "It was a hell of a thing for him to put that gun down and put that tourniquet on me."
On Wednesday, Barnes got the welcoming of a hero.
League City and multiple agencies came together, overwhelming Barnes with support after undergoing three surgeries and being intubated for 10 days.
He credits the grit of being an officer and the love from his community for keeping him alive.
"When I came home yesterday, and I saw that big American flag ... it's overwhelming," Barnes said.
Barnes said the community is helping him heal.
"They literally opened up both sides of my arms took two veins from both my legs and put them in my arm," Barnes said.
But he says he'll always push "#SantaFeStrong."
"You don't realize what an impact you have until something like this happens," Barnes said.