Written by AARON CASTREJON
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seven Azusa Police officers and one Irwindale Police officer were awarded the Medal of Valor for their actions during the 2016 Election Day shooting in Azusa.
In a ceremony in the East Wing of the White House, President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Valor to retired Azusa lieutenant Xavier Torres, Azusa Sergeant Seth Chapman, retired Azusa sergeant Terry Smith Jr., Azusa Sergeant Thomas Avila III, Azusa Sergeant Rocky Wenrick, retired Azusa corporal Andrew Rodriguez Jr., Senior Azusa Officer Carlos Plascencia and Irwindale Detective Manuel Campos. (SLIDESHOW BELOW)
“When they arrived, Carlos and Xavier raced through a hail of bullets to save a woman who had been shot in the head. At the same time, Terry, Andrew, and Seth returned fire. Tommy, Rocky, and Manuel drew the gunman out of his house, enabling their fellow officers to shoot him and bring the rampage to an end. A very dangerous situation,” Trump remarked.
“To each of you: You represent the unity, devotion, teamwork, and swift action that makes America’s law enforcement the best and bravest anywhere in the world,” Trump said.
Attorney General William Barr also spoke at Wednesday’s ceremony and commended the work of each award recipient.
“The work that first responders do every day is heroic, and each one of them deserves our gratitude,” Barr said. “Even among these selfless public servants, some have distinguished themselves through exceptional acts of valor. Today, the men and women of the Department of Justice are proud to join with President Trump in honoring 14 first responders who did just that, including two who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Also awarded today were law enforcement officers from Ohio State University, Oregon State Police, a fire captain and firefighter paramedic from Kansas and two fallen officers: one from Tennessee and one from Texas.