CINCINNATI -- A ceremony near Fifth Third Center honored the four police officers who cut short a gunman’s rampage less than one month ago.
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac and the Cincinnati Police Department honored several police officers, dispatchers, call takers and security guards who protected the lives of bystanders and tended to those who had been injured when a gunman shot innocent people on Sept. 6 in the heart of the city.
Isaac presented Officer Jennifer Chilton, Officer Antonio Etter, Officer Eric Kaminsky and Police Specialist Gregory Toyeas with a Medal of Valor. The group “ran into a gun fight” and fatally shot the gunman through the building’s glass facade. A Medal of Valor is awarded when officers exhibit an "extraordinary act of bravery without regard for their own personal safety."
Four people, including the gunman, died in Downtown’s first shooting of 2018. The shooter killed Prudhvi Raj Kandepi, 25; Richard Newcomer, 64; and Luis Felipe Calderón, 48. Two others were injured, including Fifth Third Vice President Whitney Austin, who survived 12 gunshots to the chest, neck, arms, torso and foot.
Watch the ceremony in the player below:
Mayor John Cranley said no amount of training could have taught the police officers to have the courage to stop the shooter.
“The fact is, as we all know, the man had hundreds of rounds of bullets and was intending to kill many, many more people,” Cranley said. “But the incredible training and courage … of our police department, demonstrated once again that we have the best police departments in the country.”
Police highlighted the actions of Thomas Ritter, who was in the lobby of the building near the Dunkin Donuts when the shooting began. Ritter pulled numerous people entering the building to safety behind the shop's display cases "without regard to his own safety," police wrote on Facebook. His actions were recorded by a surveillance camera:
"There is no doubt that without Mr. Ritter's actions, there would have been additional victims during the incident," police wrote.
Chief Eliot Isaac thanked dispatchers, 911 call takers, Chief Winston and Cincinnati Fire Department personnel, SWAT, Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, and the 200 other first responders who “saved many lives on that day."
Isaac awarded five other police officers with the Medal of Valor:
- Specialist Robert C. Boyce
- Specialist Jennifer A. Luke
- Specialist Thomas J. Sandmann
- Officer Alphonso J. Staples
- Officer Joshua F. Condon
Isaac also presented the following awards:
Police Chief's Award for Distinguished Service
- Captain Michael U. Neville
- Sergeant David A. Corlett
- Sergeant Kara L. Graves
- Sergeant David W. Moore
- Specialist Scott H. Johnson
- Officer Darrin L. Hoderlein
- Officer Brett T. Stratmann
- Officer Timothy M. Eppstein
- Officer Kenneth L. Kober
- Officer Amber R. Bolte
Sheriff's Award of Merit
- Hamilton County Sheriff Deputy James York
Citizen Award Of Bravery
- Thomas Ritter
- Security Officer Jared Drahman
Citizen Award Of Commendation
- Dispatcher Maranda Monson