HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Christopher Gaines spoke publicly for the first time Monday, describing in explicit details what happened when a suicidal suspect opened fire on law enforcement, shooting Gaines, who was responding to a disturbance call at a home in Humble last week.
"I'm feeling kind of tired and just a little dizzy, moving around. My equilibrium is a little off you know," Gaines said during a news conference Monday. While his physical shape is still on the mend, his mind is sharp and his memories of what happened on April 17 are even sharper. In fact, it is something he will likely never forget anytime soon.
"I remember all of it. I never lost consciousness. From the time I was out there and I had the call -- all -- investigating it and what not. From the time I made it to the ambulance and helicopter, I remember everything," the deputy said.
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Gaines and another deputy were sent around 2:30 a.m. to investigate a disturbance call at a home in the 12400 block of Saratoga Wood Lane.
"We were dispatched to a call about a man who was in distress. He basically called a suicide hotline saying that his dog bit him and he had to put him down and he was depressed about that," Gaines detailed. "The callslip said he was on valium and he had been drinking whiskey pretty bad combination for someone's mental state."
Gaines explained that from the moment he and his partner arrived, it was an uncomfortable situation.
"It was a horrible setup. It was one of the worst kinds of buildings that a cop can approach and have the need to knock on the door," Gaines described. "It's a duplex and the door, you're trapped in a side yard, you're visible through windows, you can not stand at that front door without being seen out of a window and getting behind anything that would cover you or stop a bullet is probably 15 or 20 feet away."
Gaines said he and the other deputy were trying to determine if someone was inside the house, when the agitated suspect began yelling from inside.
"We heard him stomp down the stairs and we basically heard pacing. He was arguing with someone on the phone, yelling. He was upset that someone was knocking on his door," Gaine said. "He kind of came out really aggressive at that point."
Armed with a gun, the suspect allegedly yelled, "I'm right here, come get me!"
The suspect then opened fire and Gaines was shot multiple times in his lower extremities.
Trapped and injured, and with no safe place to take cover.
When more officers and emergency personnel rushed to his side, his thoughts turned to his family.
Gaines credited the other deputies and paramedics on the scene for comforting him and keeping him calm when he was trying to get a message to his wife, thinking he would never see her again.
"I was able to use a phone to call my wife and I told her what was happening. I want to say it helped her to hear my voice because she actually heard the shots when everything happened. She texted me 'Hey, are you OK,' and obviously I did not respond so she was pretty worried," Gaines explained. He was able to talk to his mother once he arrived to the hospital.
The officer was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he underwent a three-hour successful surgery, and has made it home but will need outpatient surgeries in the near future.
He is very thankful because some injuries were near fatal.
"God had a hand in every single piece of machine that contributed to me making it," Gaines said.
Gaines also described how his 4-year-old daughter has stepped in, in her own way, to assist in his care and recovery.
"She is at the perfect age for when this could have happened because she is not at the point where she could really or understand that something bad happened to Daddy," Gaines said. "She's at the point where she can take the cap off a syringe and pretend to be my nurse. Or if someone tries to hand me my medicine, she's like 'I want to do it,' you know, she'll grab the pills and everything and just pretends to be my nurse."
After the shooting, Constable Mark Herman released a statement that read, in part:
“I am very humbled and honored to work with these heroes who bravely stood together and not only protected a fallen deputy but also, put down this suspect when he engaged them in a gun battle."