HOUSTON -- It’s been 20 years since Houston police Sergeant Danny Vaughan was shot in the head four times at point-blank range.
The surprise attack and Vaughan’s miracle survival captured headlines.
To mark the anniversary, Vaughan and his family met with the emergency and medical teams at Ben Taub Hospital who saved his life.
“We even notified the chaplain,” remembered Ben Taub Chief of Staff Dr. Ken Mattox.
“This is the reason I kept fighting so hard -- my family,” Vaughan said as he choked back tears.
Paramedics, nurses and surgeons who were all on hand that day and in the weeks following greeted the Vaughan family.
The former Houston police officer thanks them personally each year during his check up.
HFD/EMS medical director Dr. David Persse was also working that day as a fellowship trainee.
Dr. Persse told Vaughan that he invigorates “all these folks every time you come back.”
Vaughan's case led to new medical technology.
Those advances were applied to countless of hundreds of soldiers, and much later, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
The Vaughans also chose to mark this milestone in a quieter way. They came back to the rebuilt South Central Division, where Vaughan had been working inside the day he was shot.
A gunman walked in, casually asked to see a lieutenant and opened fire when Sergeant Vaughan walked out to see him.
That gunman remains in prison. On precisely the 20th anniversary of Vaughan's shooting, two police officers from the Houston area were shot and wounded by a suicidal teenager.
“I wish I could be with them, at least with their families because there is hope,” Vaughan said.
He shared that testimony with wounded officers visiting them in the hospital.
“I was 11 when he got shot,” said son Danny “Junior” Vaughan. “You all gave two kids their dad back and allowed us to have a family.”