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Ex-Convict Runs Into Shootout to Save Injured Officer's Life - Camera Captures It All

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Stories of unexpected heroism often make some of the most convincing cases for the truth of Christianity.

According to KTRK-TV in Houston, ex-convict John Lally helped rescue a police officer injured during a shootout with a carjacking suspect Nov. 11 on Highway 59.

Lally’s camera recorded the heroic act.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner noted that Lally “has had trouble with law enforcement in his life, but [that day], he and a few other citizens, along with our officers, when that officer went down, they pulled him to safety.”

“A truly reformed individual is a person that we can use [as an example],” Finner said. “He stepped up.”

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The 19-year-old carjacking suspect later died at the hospital.

A nearly three-minute news report from Houston’s KRIV, posted to YouTube, featured both Lally’s camera footage and an interview with the hero.

“As soon as I jump out of the car, out of nowhere there’s, like, gunshots going on,” Lally recalled as he spoke with the station’s Abigail Dye.

The sound of gunshots rang out on Lally’s camera footage.

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“Then I looked to my left, and I saw that cop get shot,” Lally told Dye. “And that’s when I, like, grabbed that cop by his vest, and then the other cop, and me and him, we dragged him all the way to the back of my work truck.”

As the gun battle unfolded, Lally comforted the wounded officer, 29-year-old J. Gibson, who had been shot in the leg.

“You’re gonna be OK, bro. I promise you that,” Lally could be heard saying to Gibson on the camera footage.

In the interview with Dye, Lally lamented the events as sorrowful but also hinted that God has a plan.

“It sucks that a lot of people got injured. It sucks that even the guy that caused the whole thing, that he lost his life. But, I think, you know, a higher power knows what they’re doing,” he said.

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On social media, prominent conservative commentator Collin Rugg noted the hero’s unusual background.

“Lally, who has a long criminal history, lives in Houston and is now a business owner and CEO of a T shirt company called Real Deal Wreckers,” Rugg wrote at the end of a lengthy tweet.

Along with this tweet, Rugg posted a clip that featured a more uncut version of Lally’s camera footage. In this clip, a KTRK reporter described the incident while still allowing viewers to hear audio from the shootout. Viewers could also hear an interview with Lally, though the hero did not appear on camera.

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Both Finner and Rugg cited Lally’s history of trouble with the law. And therein lay much of this story’s appeal.

Imagine, for instance, a headline that read, “Police Officer Runs into Shootout to Save Life.” We would praise the officer’s courage. Otherwise, we would think nothing of it. After all, police officers do those things.

When an “ex-convict” does it, however, a new element enters the story. We do not expect people who do bad things to suddenly start doing good ones. So we look for details. My own attention fixed on phrases like “trouble with law enforcement” and “long criminal history.”

This stemmed, I think, not from morbid curiosity about Lally’s past crimes but from the honest thrill of witnessing redemption. And that tells me something.

For instance, it suggests that I understand the value of redemption and thus crave the feeling of seeing it unfold. It also confirms that in this story I identified not with the police officers but with the ex-convict.

On a universal scale, we might call someone with a “long criminal history” a “sinner.”

Christianity teaches me that I, like all sinners, have run afoul of law enforcement. And I need redemption.

Happily, stories such as this serve as a reminder that God has given me the ability to recognize that need and then to do something about it.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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