President Trump Presents Medal Of Valor To Dayton Mass Shooting Responders
President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest award for public safety officers to first responders in last month's deadly shootings in Dayton, Ohio.
Trump awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to six officers who responded to the August 4 mass shooting. Nine people were killed and more than two dozen were wounded in the early morning attack in the bustling Oregon District.
Officers confronted the shooter within 30 seconds, a swift response credited with preventing more deaths.
"Millions of Americans saw the video footage of these officers calmly charging forward in the midst of chaos and constant fire," Trump said at the White House.
Trump also recognized the heroism of five civilians who helped others as a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and wounding many others.
The twin shootings, hours apart, sparked renewed national discussion of gun control.
"These incredible patriots responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage character and strength," Trump said as he shared a stage in the East Room with the 11 men and women.
"Faced with grave and harrowing threats, the men and women standing behind us stepped forward to save the lives of their fellow Americans," he said.
The six police officers each received the Medal of Valor, established by law in 2001 as the nation's highest public safety award. Nine people were killed and more than two dozen were wounded in the early morning attack August 4 in a bustling entertainment district.
Since they are civilians, the five individuals from El Paso, each received Certificates of Commendation for "displaying tremendous bravery," Trump said, and helping others to flee the scene of the August 3 shooting, in which 22 people were killed and many others wounded.
Trump had already recognized 14 public safety officers with the Medal of Valor earlier this year, including Ohio State Police officer Alan Horujko, who stopped an attack on campus in November 2016.
Attorney General William Barr, who joined Trump at the ceremony, said the law allows him to expand the number of recipients "when exceptional instances of bravery arise."
"So that's what we did this year," Barr said.