For stopping a gunman before he could harm anyone, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Sgt. Adam Johnson of the Austin (TX) Police Department as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for December 2015.
Located in the nation's capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Sgt. Johnson, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2015, will be honored during National Police Week at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2016.
In the early morning hours of November 28, 2014, a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage in downtown Austin. The gunman opened fire, attacking a Mexican consulate and federal courthouse. Officers responded to both locations after receiving 911 calls. It was during this time that the gunman drove to the headquarters of the Austin Police Department.
As the gunman arrived at headquarters, he exited his vehicle and began firing rounds from a rifle at the building. Meanwhile, Sgt. Johnson and the rest of the Austin Mounted Patrol unit were completing their shift and began unsaddling their horses in the nearby parking garage of the building.
The officers quickly realized that the building was under attack and they moved into position to stop the shooter. When the shooter ceased his gunfire for a brief moment to reload his rifle, Johnson used the opportunity to intervene and stop him.
Taking cover behind a pillar in the garage, Johnson steadied his aim, as he held the reins of two horses distressed by the commotion, and shot a single bullet at the gunman. Johnson struck the gunman from over 100 yards away, killing him instantly and ending the threat. Only the gunman was harmed during the attacks.
"For a guy to keep his composure while holding two horses with one hand and taking a one-hand shot with the other hand, it says a lot about the training and professionalism of our police department," stated Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
"Sergeant Johnson's quick response to a deadly situation thwarted an attack on his department and perhaps saved the lives of his fellow officers," said Memorial Fund Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig W. Floyd. "His brave actions are deserving of our December 2015 Officer of the Month Award."
For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Award, visit www.LawMemorial.org/OTM.
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.