Trump presents medal to Ohio mass shooting responders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump presented the nation's highest award for public safety Monday to six Ohio police officers who responded swiftly to reports of gunfire last month in Dayton, confronted the shooter in under a minute and prevented more deaths.

Trump also recognized five civilians who put themselves at risk after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in August.

The twin shootings, hours apart, sparked renewed national discussion of gun control, a topic on Congress' agenda as it returned to Washington on Monday.

"These incredible patriots responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage character and strength," Trump said at the White House 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.

14 PHOTOS
Trump honors Medal of Valor recipients
See Gallery
Trump honors Medal of Valor recipients
U.S. President Donald Trump struggles for a moment while putting the medal of valor on Avery County (NC) Sheriff's Office Lieutenant William Buchanan during a Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump gives David Poirier, Jr. of Redondo Beach Fire Department a Public Safety Medal of Valor during the awards ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump pins the Public Safety Medal of Valor on members of the San Bernardino County (CA) Sheriff's Department during a ceremony for recipients in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump exits the room after holding a Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump puts a medal of valor on Brian Olvera of San Bernardino Police Department, while giving out five other medals to Olvera's fellow California law enforcement officials for their roles in risking their lives to stop the San Bernardino County shooting during a Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump struggles to pin the Public Safety Medal of Valor on Avery County (NC) Sheriff's Office Lieutenant William Buchanan during a ceremony for recipients in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump presents a medal to District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, of the San Bernardino County District Attorney?s Office during a Public Safety Medal of Valor awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump presents a medal to Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier, Jr., of the Redondo Beach Fire Department during a Public Safety Medal of Valor awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump applauds for Medal of Valor recipients during a Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 20: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Public Safety Medal of Valor award ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. The medal is the nation's highest award to public safety officers who have 'exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with San Bernardino County law enforcement officials during a Public Safety Medal of Valor awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. The Medal of Valor is the Nation's highest award for valor by public safety officers, and serves to recognize extraordinary acts above and beyond the call of duty. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 20: U.S. President Donald Trump (3rd L) presents the Public Safety Medal of Valor to (L-R) District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, CA; Detective Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department, CA; Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; Detective Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; during an award ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. The medal is the nation's highest award to public safety officers who have 'exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a Public Safety Medal of Valor awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. The Medal of Valor is the Nation's highest award for valor by public safety officers, and serves to recognize extraordinary acts above and beyond the call of duty. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) U.S. President Donald Trump presents the Public Safety Medal of Valor to District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, CA; Detective Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department, CA; Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; Detective Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, CA; Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department, CA; during an award ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. The medal is the nation's highest award to public safety officers who have 'exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The six police officers each received the Medal of Valor, established 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 Aug. 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 Aug. 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. 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.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.