Thirteen Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Receive VACP/VPCF Awards for Valor
August 27, 2013 | VACP
The awards were presented at the Valor Awards Banquet at the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, held this year at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. The awards program is a joint effort of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation. The Honorable Marla Graff Decker, Secretary of Public Safety, assisted 2012-13 VACP President Jim Williams, Staunton Police Chief, with the presentations.
The Award for Valor recognizes a law enforcement officer who, in the line of duty, performs an act of extraordinary heroism while engaged with an adversary at imminent personal risk.
Officers receiving the 2013 Awards for Valor are:
Chesapeake Police Department (PHOTO)
Sergeant Jonathan R. Williams
Officer Stanford W. Allen
Officer David A. Dashiell
Police Officer Specialist James C. Rider
Officer Kenneth L. Smith
On April 22, 2012 at 0054 hours, police officers were dispatched to a Chesapeake apartment regarding a male subject who had been shot. Officers proceeded to the door of the apartment, immediately reported screaming from inside the residence, and surmised that the shooter was still on scene.
Hearing a female voice screaming for help and after identifying themselves, officers tried to open the apartment door by the handle and then with two unsuccessful kicks. The shift commander arrived, called out the SWAT Team and established a command post. A male subject, through the closed apartment door, warned officers to back-off or else he would kill an entire family still inside. Another shot was fired from within the residence as SWAT Officer Kenneth Smith arrived and provided additional cover on the front door.
At 0137 hours, additional gunshots were heard as a male and female fled the apartment. Officers determined that both subjects had been hostages and that the male subject was in need of immediate medical attention for a gunshot wound which would later prove to be fatal.
The SWAT Reaction Team led by Police Officer Specialist J. C. Rider rapidly deployed from the command post to the subject apartment. While posted at the front door, Reaction Team members heard additional gunshots and screaming from within the apartment. Police Officer Specialist Rider decisively ordered an emergency entry. Officers Dashiell and Montoya worked to breach the apartment door which was still partially barricaded by a couch, chair and dresser placed by the suspect. During the course of the breach, the suspect fired two or three additional rounds toward the Reaction Team; however, the officers continued to work undeterred until a positive breach was obtained.
Due to the array of furniture used to barricade the door, Specialist Rider and Officer Allen were perilously impeded as they forced their way into the residence while expecting to receive additional gunfire from the suspect. The remaining Reaction Team members entered behind Officers Allen and Rider to establish a dominant foothold in the residence. The Team then observed the suspect, using a teenage female as a human shield. Additionally, the female hostage was holding a four-month old baby. Officers Allen and Rider held cover on the suspect while attempting to negotiate his surrender. The suspect remained profane and defiant while threatening further killing if the officers failed to back off.
The Reaction Team officers collectively understood the existing deadly force threat and knew that, if a window of opportunity presented to liberate the hostages, they would not hesitate to take appropriate, decisive action.
During the course of the hostage negotiations, the suspect was overheard speaking on his cell phone to a family member. The suspect seemed increasingly agitated, and it was clear to the officers present that the lives of the hostages were at stake as well as their own.
At approximately 0232 hours, the suspect re-emerged from the rear bedroom with his hostages. Holding the teenager and the infant with his left hand and holding a pistol to the teenager’s torso with his right hand, he moved slowly across the hallway, using both hostages as cover. As the suspect moved, Officer Williams was able to begin tracking and timing an opportunity to shoot him in the head, which was the largest available target. When the opportunity presented, Officer Williams fired a round, striking Collins in the head and causing his immediate collapse and release of the hostages.
The Reaction Team deployed a distraction device, contemporaneous with the shot fired by Officer Williams, and began clearing to the suspect’s location. The teenage female ran past the Reaction Team, dropping the infant child in the hallway. Through smoke from the distraction device, Officer Smith observed the infant on the floor, and he covered the child on his hands and knees to prevent inadvertent trampling by the other Team members moving swiftly down the hallway. Officer Smith subsequently removed the infant to a bedroom which had been rendered safe. Officers removed the pistol from the suspect’s hand and immediately summoned Tactical Paramedics to provide urgent care. Tragically, another victim was found dead in the rear bedroom as a result of gunshot wound inflicted by the suspect.
Chesapeake Officers Allen, Dashiell, Rider, Smith and Williams responded with extraordinary heroism to protect innocent lives while engaged in personal combat with, and under fire from an armed adversary at imminent personal danger of loss of life. For their actions, they are honored recipients of the 2013 VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.
Danville Police Department (PHOTO)
Officer Joshua Walcott
Officer Evan Wilson
On May 21, 2013 at approximately 11:39 PM, Danville Police Officers Joshua Walcott and Evan Wilson responded to a call regarding a man with a gun. A witness had called 911 and reported that the suspect - wearing a mask, all black clothing, and carrying a shotgun - had forced a man at gunpoint into his Danville residence.
Officer Walcott was the first officer on scene and observed nothing amiss on the outside of the residence. He immediately advised dispatch to hold all radio traffic and retrieved his patrol shotgun from his police cruiser as Officer Evan Wilson, who had just arrived, armed himself with his patrol rifle. Two other officers positioned themselves on each side of the house as Officer Walcott announced his presence and demanded that someone open the door. A male voice responded with, “Who is it?” When Officer Walcott repeated that it was the police, the front door opened and a naked and very distraught female ran out onto the front porch, yelling “He’s in there, he has a gun!”
Officer Walcott could see the suspect at the back of the house and knew that the original male victim was likely still in the residence. Officer Walcott, fearing for the life of the unarmed victim and without thought for his personal safety, entered the residence to confront the suspect.
When the suspect pointed his double barreled shotgun at him, Officer Walcott fired one round from his shotgun at the suspect and simultaneously ducked for cover into another room. When Officer Wilson heard the shotgun blast, he feared for the lives of the unarmed victim and Officer Walcott. Without thought for his personal safety, he entered the residence to confront the suspect and provide support for Officer Walcott and the victim. Officers Walcott and Wilson cleared the house and escorted the original male victim and three young children to the front porch.
The suspect apparently escaped through the back door as Officers Walcott and Wilson were clearing the residence. An extensive K-9 search failed to find him. All of the victims were unharmed. Officer Walcott apparently missed the suspect when he fired at him.
Subsequent investigation determined that the suspect hid behind a bush and confronted the male resident as he came home and forced him into the house. Once inside, he ordered the man and woman to remove their clothes, threatened to shoot the juvenile if the woman did not comply, and demanded money. It was only the call to 911 from the alert citizen that generated the police response. Officer Walcott’s and Officer Wilson’s quick response, deliberate actions, and courageous entry into the residence in the face of clear and present danger interrupted a violent crime and facilitated the successful rescue of the victims. Officer Walcott and Officer Wilson are deserving recipients of the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.
Norfolk Police Department (PHOTO)
Officer A. J. Mondie
On July 31, 2011, at approximately 5:00 a.m., the Norfolk Police Department Emergency Operations Call Center received numerous 911 calls in reference to a gunshot disturbance in a military housing area. Several of these calls reported that a gunshot victim was lying in the courtyard area in one of the apartment complexes. Officer A.J. Mondie arrived on scene within minutes and was approached by several witnesses who informed the officer of the exact location of the victim and a suspect. Officer Mondie made his way to the area and discovered a female lying on the ground screaming as a result of a gunshot wound to her leg. Officer Mondie's attention was also quickly drawn towards a second female, wearing Navy fatigues, pacing back and forth with a semi-automatic pistol in her right hand.
Officer Mondie ordered the suspect to drop the gun several times but the suspect refused to comply. As the officer began to tactically advance toward the suspect, still attempting to gain compliance from her to surrender the weapon, the suspect re-directed her attention back toward the victim and the two began to struggle for control of the firearm. Officer Mondie, realizing the situation was now more critical than ever, gained the suspect's attention away from the victim and onto himself. The suspect regained control of her weapon from the victim and immediately made direct eye contact with the officer.
The suspect, now realizing she had no avenue of escape, raised her firearm toward Officer Mondie and began firing. Officer Mondie was immediately struck by one of the rounds in an area not covered by his ballistic vest. Although injured, Officer Mondie was able to return fire, striking the suspect several times and bringing her down to the ground to end the violent gun battle.
Officer A.J. Mondie displayed tremendous and extraordinary bravery during an imminently dangerous confrontation to save the life of a citizen in grave danger and to end a violent conflict. We are honored to present Officer A. J. Mondie with the VACP/VPCF Valor Award.
Portsmouth Police Department (PHOTO)
Officer Ray Anderson
Officer Brad Dotson
On March 17, 2013, James Artis entered a Portsmouth home, where he viciously and repeatedly attacked an elderly couple, Joan and Sherman Mason, with a butcher knife. During the attack, Mrs. Mason was able to call Portsmouth Police and officers were dispatched. As Mrs. Mason fled the attack towards the attic while being pursued by Mr. Artis, Mr. Mason was able to escape the home.
Officers Ray Anderson and Brad Dotson arrived on scene and observed the bloody victim and the suspect at the front of the house. The suspect retreated back into the house, and Officers Anderson and Dotson ran to the rear of the residence to prevent an escape. Officers Anderson and Dotson then ran to the front door and found it had been locked. Officer Anderson kicked the door open and entered, with Officer Dotson providing cover, and announced "Portsmouth Police." Mr. Artis repeatedly yelled out, "you're going to have to kill me,” as the officers commanded that he come out of the house. Mr. Artis announced that he was coming out, and then charged Officer Anderson at close range from a bedroom. Officer Anderson fired two shots from his handgun, striking Mr. Artis in the abdomen. Officer Anderson likened the sound of the charge to that of a "freight train," and Officer Dotson said he heard Mr. Artis growling as he ran. Following the shooting, Officer Dotson observed the butcher knife next to Mr. Artis where he fell.
Officer Dotson and Officer Anderson displayed extreme heroism in facing a crazed, knife-wielding attacker, who had demonstrated his willingness to use violence and whose location inside was unknown, to save the life of a seriously wounded elderly female. They placed themselves in harm's way without any thought for their own well-being to ensure the safety of an extremely vulnerable victim. This was truly a selfless act by both officers and they are well deserving of the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.
Virginia Department of State Police (PHOTO)
Sergeant Marilyne Wilson
Senior Trooper Bruce W. Carey
Trooper Samuel C. Moss
On March 7, 2013, Trooper Moss had finished his shift for the day and was heading home along Interstate 85 when he came upon a trooper’s car in the woods and two other vehicles stopped out on the southbound shoulder near the 45 mile marker in Dinwiddie County. He immediately pulled over and within seconds realized he was in the midst of an active shooter situation. As soon as he stopped, Trooper Moss became the suspect’s next target. Trooper Moss took cover and returned fire with a male subject who was standing next to the crashed patrol car. In the midst of the lengthy shoot-out, Trooper Moss was able to deftly swap out weapons, continue to return fire, and still have the fortitude to stop southbound traffic to protect passing motorists from being caught in the crossfire.
Sergeant Wilson was assigned to a work zone nearby. She immediately responded to the scene upon receiving radio notice and found herself in the active-shooter situation. With her M-4 rifle in one hand and juggling a radio and cell phone in the other, she called the incident as it played out on the side of I-85 that afternoon.
It took only seconds for Senior Trooper Carey to begin his response to the scene when he heard the radio traffic about a trooper having crashed off the side of I-85. It was Senior Trooper Carey that recognized the tag number on the patrol car and identified the vehicle as belonging to Master Trooper Junius A. Walker. At this point, they had no knowledge of the Master Trooper’s condition, as he was still inside the vehicle.
By now, the shooting had stopped but the suspect was still in the woods. The underbrush beneath the car had caught fire and was causing the crashed vehicle to start smoking heavily. The decision was made to get Master Trooper Walker out of the car even if that meant putting their lives at serious risk. With Trooper Moss and two Dinwiddie County deputies providing cover, Sgt. Wilson and Senior Trooper Carey swiftly made their way to the crashed vehicle. With tremendous effort, the two were able to extract Master Trooper Walker from the patrol car. Within minutes of the three escaping the burning vehicle, it was engulfed in flames. Tragically, Trooper Junius A. Walker did not recover, and his life was lost that day in the line of duty.
Sergeant Wilson’s, Sr. Trooper Carey’s and Trooper Moss’ heroic actions that fateful day exemplify the Virginia State Police values of valor and service, and the Association is proud to present these outstanding officers with the prestigious VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is a statewide organization of federal, state and local police chiefs and law enforcement executives dedicated to improving the professionalism of police agencies in Virginia. The Association was founded in 1926 and has more than 600 members. The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is a charitable educational foundation created by the VACP to provide training and education programs for law enforcement executives.
2013 VACP/VPCF Award for Valor Recipients: (front, L to R) Sgt. Marilyne Wilson, Senior Trooper Bruce W. Carey, and Trooper Samuel C. Moss, Virginia State Police; Officer Joshua Walcott and Officer Evan Wilson, Danville Police Department; and Officer David A. Dashiell, Chesapeake Police Department. (back, L to R) Officer Kenneth L. Smith, Officer Stanford W. Allen, Sgt. Jonathan R. Williams and Police Officer Specialist James C. Rider, Chesapeake Police Department; Officer A.J. Mondie, Norfolk Police Department; Officer Ray Anderson and Officer Brad Dotson, Portsmouth Police Department. (Photo Credit: Erin Schrad, VACP)
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