‘It’s our job to go and help’: Witnesses rush to check on injured police officer

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:43 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Witnesses say they were just doing their job as a part of the community, as they rushed to help Lubbock police officer Larry Barnhill, moments after he was hit by a stolen vehicle in a Clapp Park parking lot. Three teenagers have been arrested after the Monday morning situation, during which Barnhill fired his weapon.

Some Living Word Harvest churchgoers were nearby, hosting a Labor Day barbecue in the park. Pastor Lawrance Garcia says they got to the park at about 10 o’clock in the morning, and saw the vehicle of teenagers involved in the situation drive by several times, doing donuts and hitting curbs.

Garcia says he heard a gunshot, and rushed to check if Officer Barnhill was okay. He happened to catch a video of that moment on his cellphone.

“I didn’t get to see the actual hit and run if that’s what it was, but I heard a gunshot and we heard the gunshot and the cars getting out, and then the truck officer jumped back in, took off after the car. So, we peek around the corner from the truck and the officer’s down,” Garcia said.

He and his friends rushed to Barnhill’s side, offering him water and moving his gun back within reach.

“You can tell he was in pain and he couldn’t move, you know, very much. And so we just, ‘hey, man, would you like some water? Would you like, you know, something to drink?’ Just kind of comforting him, you know making sure that that he was ok and I think he knew and felt we were the good guys,” Garcia said.

Garcia says as a pastor, it’s his job to be a civil servant.

“I’m glad he’s ok. I’m glad he didn’t get, you know, shot. I’m glad none of the kids got shot, actually got shot,” he said. “But still, you know, he’s an officer and we respect our men in blue and our women in blue. So, it was just our token of appreciation for them to just go and help any way we could.”

He and his family moved to Lubbock from California two years ago. They opened Living Word Harvest Church and started a taco truck called the Taste of Cali. He says he used to see things like this in California, but not Lubbock.

“It was a pretty shocking and amazing day yesterday, a day I won’t forget. I’ll tell you that much.”