July 2006 will forever be the day that changed Fresno Police Officer Brian Nieto’s life. He and his partner were on their way to conduct traffic operations when Nieto noticed a driver not wearing a seatbelt. After trying to initiate a traffic stop with the car, the driver fired upon Nieto, and fled the scene. Officer Nieto was shot three times and was rushed to the ICU where he fought for his life for 30 days. “Knowing my parents were notified I would probably not make it, I was read my rites from a priest.”, says Nieto.
Following the shooting, Fresno P.D. was able to locate the driver after a two-day manhunt. Left with injuries that caused serious internal damage, Officer Nieto was forced to retire from the police force at the age of 34. Despite his bittersweet retirement, Officer Nieto is grateful for his “second opportunity at life”.
“My many surgeries required for the three gunshot wounds meant that I needed additional blood to keep me alive.”, says Nieto. “I am proof that blood saves lives.”
Since retiring, Officer Nieto has enjoyed riding his motorcycle as well as pursuing musical aspirations with the drums. He even plays in a few local bands. “Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God and count my blessings to have family and friends who have helped me recover.”
In honor of our Annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, we’re asking donors to come out to any of our donor centers or mobile blood drives to help save Valley lives like Brian Nieto’s. Honor and vote for your favorite first responders by visiting https://www.donateblood.org/nv-battle-of-the-badges/ for information on hours and locations.
Here In This Valley, We Never Forget the Need for Blood.