An Oklahoma police officer received a Medal of Valor award from her chief this week for her role in helping apprehend a homicide suspect after she sprang into action while she was off duty the night of the shootings.
Officer Ohavyah Soto, of the Tahlequah Police Department, received the award from Chief Nate King for gallantry and extraordinary heroism for her part in apprehending a suspect in an incident that left two people dead and another injured, reported the Tahlequah Daily Press. King presented the award earlier this week during a city council meeting.
Night of the Shooting
The chief detailed to the council how three individuals had been shot on Oct. 18 and multiple agencies were looking for the suspect, but Soto, despite being off duty recognized him at an area restaurant.
Soto said she looked over, locked eyes, and recognized the man as the one officers were looking for in connection to the shootings.
She tried to detain him but was assaulted by the suspect as he broke free. She was not in uniform and was unarmed.
However, she then gave chase and called to let other officers know what was going on.
“Probably if it wasn’t for her actions that night, we may not have caught him that night, and I don’t know who else may have lost their life,” the chief explained.