President Donald Trump this morning awarded the nation’s highest decoration for law enforcement to the six Dayton police officers who ended a gunman’s deadly rampage in the Oregon District.
During a special ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Trump said the six officers earned the public safety officer Medal of Valor for extraordinary bravery and by putting their lives on the line for others.
The award recipients are officers Sgt. William C. Knight, Vincent Carter, David Denlinger, Ryan Nabel, Brian Rolfes and Jeremy Campbell.
President Trump said these are “unbelievably exceptional Americans.” He said the officers saved countless lives by acting heroically and without hesitation while staring down evil.
“The light from these intrepid souls defy the darkness and confronted the most sinister danger,” he said.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who also attended the ceremony, thanked the officers’ families and loved ones.
“For the people out in Dayton that night, these officers were the thin blue line between life and death,” he said. “The actions of these six officers show that though that line may be thin — it’s very strong.”
Nine people were killed and about 27 more were injured during the shooting that occurred just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4.
The six officers engaged and killed the shooter, Conner Betts, within about 32 seconds, preventing what could have been many more deaths, officials said.
Five civilians who helped assist and save lives in the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, also were honored today with certificates of commendation.
According to press reports, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost attended the ceremony.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor was created in 2001 to honor law enforcement, firefighters, corrections, court, emergency services or civil defense officers who exhibited exceptional courage in the attempt to save and protect people’s lives.
The Medal of Valor is the highest national award for public safety officers and is given to recognize an act of extraordinary bravery above and beyond the call duty, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Video: Watch live: Trump presents Medal of Valor to Dayton officers who stopped mass shooter
Since 2001, fewer than 140 people have been awarded the Medal of Valor decoration, not counting the Dayton officers, the department said.
Video: WATCH LIVE: President Trump presents the Medal of Valor – 09/09/2019
Nine people were killed and 27 more were injured during the shooting that occurred just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4. The six Dayton officers engaged and killed the shooter in less than 30 seconds, preventing what could have been many more deaths, officials said.
This site is currently unavailable to visitors from the European Economic Area while we work to ensure your data is protected in accordance with applicable EU laws.