New Braunfels – A Comal County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the line of duty said he is not letting his injury stop him from putting on his badge.
Luna, who has served a little over 29 years at the office, recounted the details leading up to the shooting.
“We had already been to his house twice before trying to serve the warrant but had not been able to make contact,” Luna said. “This particular day, something told me to have a third partner there, just in case he decided to take off or something. We were not expecting anything major. We didn’t think he was a threat or would cause injury to anybody, we just wanted a third person there.”
Deputy Rene Luna, his brother, happened to be in the area.
“I called him up and asked if he would mind going on a felony arrest warrant with us and he said sure,” Luna said.
After learning the suspect was home, Luna and his partner made entry to serve the warrant after trying to talk him out of the home.
“As the door swung open, I didn’t even hear the blast,” Luna said. “But I saw the shotgun. I saw the blast and the flame. I saw the gun blast. I didn’t know I got hit until I actually ran around. Instead of taking a defensive position, I took a, ‘I need to get out of here’ position because I looked down and I saw the damage that was to my arm.”
Fortunately, Luna’s brother was nearby to help him to safety.
“We ran up the hill because I didn’t know if the suspect was going to come back out or what he wanted to do,” Luna said. “I remember getting to the top of the hill and sitting on a rock and I looked down and I knew it was bad.”
After applying a tourniquet twice, Luna said he and his brother ran to nearest patrol unit.
"I had doubts as we were making our way to the patrol unit because I was getting light-headed but I did not want to close my eyes because I was just terrified of not ever opening my eyes again,” Luna said.
Eventually, Luna made it to a patrol unit and then to an ambulance. It was then that he felt that he was safe.
“I was in and out and trying to look to see what was going on. I love to look at helicopters and when I made it to the helicopter, I was unfortunately not in the position to look but I could smell the fuel,” he laughed. “The guys there were so profession and I was finally able to be at peace and when they told me to close my eyes, I wasn’t afraid of closing them and not being able to open them back up again.”
When Luna reached the hospital, he was out for three days.
“When I finally came through I saw my wife was there and my daughter and I couldn’t talk to nobody because they had that tube down my throat but I did the best I could do with hand signals and nodding my head,” Luna said.
He went through a total of 12 surgeries. He made the ultimate decision to amputate part of his right arm.
“According to the doctors, I didn’t have very good options,” Luna said. “I just didn’t want to be in the hospital anymore. I thought I could learn how to live with one arm.”
Otherwise, Luna was looking at months of hospitalizations and several additional surgeries.
"I didn’t want to be without an arm but technology has come a long way and I know I have a road to go and a lot of time on my hands but I am ready for it,” Luna said.
After 26 days, Luna was discharged from the hospital and was honorably escorted home.
“When you are sleeping in the hospital for that long, you can’t get much sleep,” Luna said. “I told my son I wanted to leave quietly and didn’t want anything. All of a sudden I see all of my friends start showing up and all of these things were put together without me knowing anything,” he laughed. “It was incredible to see all of the civilians, all of the American flags and all of the police officers. I recognized a lot of faces. It felt good and inside made me happy to see them because that was something I needed for myself.”
Luna said he is ready to fully recover so he can get back to work.
“I told my boss the sheriff, 'Don’t get rid of my desk because I am coming back,” he joked. “I am hoping in the next two to three weeks they will close out the flap and I will have rehab and be fitted for a useful arm. The incident was terrible and horrible what I went through but It hasn’t scared me one way. I am coming back.”