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EXCLUSIVE: A Hero's Homecoming

Posted at 11:09 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-21 00:09:30-04

BRYAN, Texas — What normally is an occasion of sorrow, was a brighter moment on Friday.

Chief Deputy John Pollock was welcomed home less than 72 hours after being shot in the Line of Duty.

“Probably 99% of the time this [a procession] happens is when we are bringing somebody home who was killed in the line of duty and bringing them home to their family and to their resting place. It’s not very often we get to bring somebody home who’s survived a situation like this,” said Burleson County Sheriff Gene Hermes.

Friday, KRHD News rode with Sheriff Hermes as he led the procession from St. Joseph Health in Bryan to Chief Deputy Pollock’s home in Snook. During the drive, Sheriff Hermes recalled the events Tuesday night when his Chief Deputy called him just minutes after being shot.

“I answered the phone and I said, “Hey John what’s up?” and instantly he said, “Sheriff, I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot!” So that was my first call, it wasn’t from anybody else. It was directly from him and he just kept repeating he got shot. I’ll tell I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what I was thinking,” said Sheriff Hermes.

Normally the responsibility falls upon the Sheriff to call a wounded officer’s family, but Chief Deputy Pollock wanted to make the call himself.

“I was talking to him on the phone he was telling me he was shot and he asked me to call his wife and tell her he loved her. I was ready to make that call and he said don’t call please drive by and see her so that’s what I was going to do. I don’t know what hit him but he said no I’m going to call her, I’m going to call my wife. He said you go take of our people,” said Sheriff Hermes.

Throughout the procession route, community members lined the streets showing their support.

“It’s amazing just to see everybody. Just amazing. Time stands still, ya know? Makes you think about this job. We all at times think about how dangerous it is but I can tell you that day serving that search warrant, no one was thinking about how dangerous it was, what they were think about was apprehending that subject that committed a horrendous crime and to keep the public safe,” said Sheriff Hermes.

But it's times like these when the danger of being an officer is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“I left my house and right before I left my house I hug my wife and daughter and told them I love them because you know it may be the last time you get to do that. And it seems so repetitive a lot of people say that I know some people think, ‘Oh it’s just something they say,’ but it’s the truth you never know,” said Sheriff Hermes.

Friday, seeing his Chief Deputy walking, talking, alive back home with his family is a huge sigh of relief for Burleson County.

KRHD News Anchor Halle Jones asking Sheriff Hermes, “What was that hug like?”

“Relief, relief. Knowing he is home, that is the true feeling that he is going to be well right now. Knowing he’s home,” said Sheriff Hermes