AVERY COUNTY, N.C. - President Trump has selected recipients for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor award, including a local police Lieutenant as well as the five officers who responded to the June Alexandria shooting of congress members, the White House announced Friday.
Lieutenant William Buchanan of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office was one of the twelve recipients of the award recognized for their public service who were not part of the additional five Alexandria Police officers who responded to the shooting.
According to the statement released by the White House, 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.
Buchanan was hailed as a hero in February for pulling a man from a burning vehicle alongside Putnam County, Tennessee EMT Sean Ochsenbein, who will also be receiving the medal from the president.
“I believe God puts us at certain places at certain times to help people, and I believe that was the case,” Lt. Buchanan told Tennessee station WHJL back in February.
Back on June 14, a gunman opened fire on members of the GOP Congressional baseball team as they practiced for a charity game. The gunman, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, was shot by a wounded DC police officer and he later died.
All five first responders to the shooting are to be awarded with the same Medal of Valor.
The statement from the President's office reads, "The bravery of these law enforcement officers saved numerous lives."
The statement said the recipients will be honored and presented with the Medal of Valor at a later date yet to be determined.
Here is a full list of the officers who will be receiving the award:
- Special Agent David Bailey, United States Capitol Police
- Special Agent Crystal Griner, United States Capitol Police
- Officer Nicole Battaglia, Alexandria Police Department, VA
- Officer Kevin Jobe, Alexandrai Police Department, VA
- Officer Alexander Jensen, Alexandria Police Department, VA
- Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, CA
- Corporal Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, CA
- Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, CA
- Deputy Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, CA
- Officer Nicholas Koahou, San Bernardino Police Department, CA
- Officer Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department, CA
- Lieutenant William Buchanan, Avery County Sheriff’s Office, NC
- Emergency Medical Technician, Sean Ochsenbein, Putnam County Rescue Squad, TN
- Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston Police Department, KS
- Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer, David Poirier Jr., Redondo Beach Fire Department, CA
- Patrolman Andrew Hopfensperger Jr., Antigo Police Department, WI
- Engineer Stephen Gunn, Peoria Fire-Medical Department, AZ