Seguin Police Department Officer Tanya Brown (left) stands with Deputy Chief of Police Bruce Ure during her badge pinning. Credit: Courtesy / Seguin Police Department

Seguin police and city officials counted themselves grateful Monday after learning that a colleague, Deputy Police Chief Bruce Ure, escaped serious injury at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the site of the worst mass murder event in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Ure, a veteran law enforcement officer who joined the Seguin Police Department in May 2015, reported on his Facebook page, “I am ok too.” He then elaborated, in response to several supportive comments, that he had suffered a minor shrapnel injury to his hand, and likened the deadly shooting to “a war zone.”

As of Monday evening, Clark County, Nevada, sheriff’s officials said that 59 people had died and 527 were injured at the outdoor country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort casino hotel. The heavily armed shooter, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the crowd from a 32nd-floor room in the hotel, said Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Paddock reportedly shot and killed himself before a SWAT team entered the room, where authorities found a more than a dozen guns.

Morgan Ash, Seguin’s public information officer, knew that Ure was attending the Las Vegas concert, and sent him a text message immediately upon hearing the news of the shootings. Her husband, a Southwest Airlines pilot, had called her on his way home from the airport, waking her at 1:45 a.m. They both knew that Ure, whom Ash considers a friend as well as a colleague, was at the concert.

Ash said in a Monday telephone interview with the Rivard Report that she had immediately texted Ure and asked, “Are you okay?”

He responded by text that he had suffered minor shrapnel injuries. He also said he had “commandeered a car” to take two injured women to a local hospital after placing a tourniquet on another injured concert attendee. (Ash did not know the extent or type of injuries, and Ure did not respond to requests for comment Monday.)

Ure “has been in law enforcement for 33 years, so his training kicked into high gear,” Ash said. “Not only was he able to help himself, he was also able to save two other people.

“He was a hero,” she said.

Ash said all of Ure’s colleagues at the small, close-knit Seguin Police Department were worried about him and look forward to his return to work. “Everyone here at work knows him and wanted to know how he was,” she said.

“We are so thankful he is coming home to us, when so many people, sadly, aren’t going to be going back to their work families and home families.”

Beth Frerking is the former editor-in-chief of the Rivard Report.