Police officer becomes personal trainer after surviving shooting

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 7/17/17

Shelby Luttrell is the picture of health as he lifts weights on a recent Friday afternoon.

His facial expression — stoic, focused — is the same one he wore seven months ago when he was gripping a walker and struggling to put one foot in front of another in a hospital hallway.

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Police officer becomes personal trainer after surviving shooting

Posted

Shelby Luttrell is the picture of health as he lifts weights on a recent Friday afternoon.

His facial expression — stoic, focused — is the same one he wore seven months ago when he was gripping a walker and struggling to put one foot in front of another in a hospital hallway.

On Dec. 17, Luttrell was shot twice with a .45 caliber handgun in an altercation outside his home.

One bullet tore through his right elbow. The second one lodged in his stomach.

Luttrell, a police officer who had taken a new job as a security guard weeks before the shooting, remained calm as he waited for first responders to arrive.

Using his first aid training to keep himself alive, he instructed his wife, Erica, as she applied pressure to the wound.

After removing a foot of his small intestine, Luttrell’s doctors watched in amazement as he pushed his body beyond its limits in the week after the shooting.

On Dec. 23, they gave him his final goal.

“They said, ‘If you can sit up by yourself, walk to the stairs, walk up a flight of stairs and back down, you can go home.’ When I got done, they called me Speedy,” he said.

Three weeks later, Luttrell returned to the gym.

Fitness has been a part of his life since high school, when he was a star wrestler and football player at Walker High School.

Before the shooting, workouts were an escape. After it, they were his lifeline.

“I was sitting on the couch and I started getting depressed. I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do anything like support my family or do the activities I used to do. I was eager to jump back in,” Luttrell said.

Luttrell believes that being physically fit helped him survive the shooting. He also credits his wife with helping him stay focused during his recovery.

Luttrell is not yet fully healed. He still lacks feeling in part of his right hand and in his left leg.

“I guess some people would call it severe nerve damage because I don’t know if it’s coming back,” he said.

However, he is able to walk unaided. He has returned to work and to his role as the Cordova Police Department’s firearms safety instructor.

Luttrell has also realized his dream of being a personal trainer.

In April, he launched Bulletproof Fitness. (He originally thought of naming the company after himself but decided that Bulletproof would look better on a T-shirt.)

“I started thinking about how short life could be. Why would I wait any longer to start working on my goal?” Luttrell said.

Luttrell works with clients online, developing personalized meal and workout plans and making monthly adjustments based on each client’s progress.

The company’s Facebook page is filled with before and after photos mixed in with daily inspirational posts from Luttrell.

“I want to motivate and help others, especially if they’ve been through something like I have. If they’ve had any kind of injury or surgery, I want them to know you can bounce back,” he said.

With over 100 clients signed up currently, Bulletproof Fitness is more successful than Luttrell expected when he announced the venture on social media three months ago.

He has other plans for the future, and those who have already seen him do the impossible know not to doubt him.

“I tell people that the best thing about a setback is the comeback,” he said.