PAMPA, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Seven years have passed since Houston Gass, a former sergeant with the Pampa Police Department, was critically wounded in the line of duty. On the morning of Jan. 6, 2015, Gass was shot in the face and shoulder while responding to a domestic violence call on the 500 block of N. Nelson in Pampa. That’s also when, according to him, his second chance in life began.
Seven years later, Gass shared his thoughts with MyHighPlains.com, about the event and where his recovery stands. While the date always brings Gass significant memories, he still keeps a positive attitude about it.
“I think it brings more happiness and joy than it does sadness, Gass said. “Because today… I guess for me resembles a second chance I suppose.”
Gass has come a long way in his recovery process since that event seven years ago. Gass said he went through 21 surgeries and spent 840 days off of work after the incident. After that process passed, things started to look better.
“It was an amazing time when I got to go back, and it’s even more amazing now because so many things are still behind me. You know, I still have to have, you know, a couple of things here and there just to keep up with maintenance and everything after having a grand total of 21 surgeries to fix everything,” Glass said. “You know, it’s just great… it’s great for that part to be over with and done. I mean the bad part is that still some of it I’m just gonna have to deal with for the rest of my life, you know, one way or another.”
Currently, Gass is a deputy with the Jack County Sheriff’s Department, however, even though he has a new job, he is also working to help other officers who faced situations similar to what he did in Pampa. Gass said he is involved with The Wounded Blue, an organization that supports officers wounded in the line of duty and fights for them to receive the proper support during their recovery process.
Gass said he has allowed the situation he went through to change him for the better, both as an officer and as a person.
“You know, something like that… it does change you. It changes you… and you can allow it to change you however you want to. For me, I tried to make sure anything stayed on the positive side of things, that I use this day not to be a victim, but to be a survivor that helps other people,” said Gass.
Seven years later, Gass has a full list of gratitude for all the things in place on the day he was shot. He mentioned the Pampa officers who saved his life; the job Pampa dispatchers did to communicate with medical staff; his church and the Pampa community who supported his family.
Gass also described the first few minutes after he got wounded, when he said his lieutenant laid his body on top of Gass while other offices helped to drag him out and cover fire to keep everyone safe. “I’ll never forget that,” Gass said. According to him, the incident not only wounded him but also the entire Pampa Police family. However, as hard as that day was, he said he believes the situation had a beautiful turnout and it was all part of God’s plan.
“I mean, Jan. 6 is a day that I will tell you was certainly one of the worst days I ever had in my life, but I’ll also tell you it turned out being one of the best days I ever had in my life cause it changed so many different things. It changed the way I look at things, it changed the way I look at people, it changed my perspective on a lot of different things… on the way I see God, and the way I see my faith, and the way I see my family, and certainly it did change the way that I do things as a law enforcement officer, and I think it certainly changed things for the better.”