Special Agent Tyler Call of the FBI was off duty and with his family when he came across a woman being held at gunpoint by her ex-husband. Putting his life on the line, Call helped rescue the woman, and for that act of bravery, he was one of 13 law enforcement officers to be awarded the Medal of Valor this May.
"Each of these honorees acted without regard to their own safety," President Obama said in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
"We're so grateful they were there—some off duty, others on duty, and all rising above and beyond the call of duty. . . The men and women who run toward danger remind us with your courage and humility what the highest form of citizenship looks like."
Call was the only FBI agent to receive the Medal of Valor, which is the highest award a law enforcement officer can obtain. FBI director James Comey also presented Call with the FBI Shield of Bravery, which recognizes the courageous and exceptional acts of those who work with the FBI.
Call's wife, parents, and infant son attended the White House ceremony, according to the Deseret News. As the medal was being placed around Call's neck, his son cooed, prompting President Obama to say, "That’s your little boy cheering you on."
Other officers who received the Medal of Honor included:
- Officer Mario Gutierrez (Miami-Dade Police Department, FL) who subdued a man attempting to set off a massive gas explosion, sustaining multiple stab wounds in the attempt.
- Patrolman Louis Cioci (Johnson City Police Department, NY) who, after watching the murder of his fellow officer, chased and apprehended a gunman at a crowded hospital.
- Officers Jason Salas and Robert Sparks (Santa Monica Police Department, CA), and Captain Raymond Bottenfield (Santa Monica College Police Department, CA) who placed their lives in danger to protect students and staff during a school shooting at Santa Monica College.
- Major David Huff (Midwest City Police Department, OK) Fwho saved the life of a 2-year-old girl being held at knife point during a hostage negotiation.
- Officer Donald Thompson (Los Angeles Police Department, CA) who, while off duty, leaped over freeway dividers to pull an unconscious man from his car moments before it burst into flames. Thompson sustained first- and second-degree burns in the attempt.
- Officer Coral Walker (Omaha Police Department, NE) who incapacitated a man on an active shooting spree.
- Officer Gregory Stevens (Garland Police Department, TX) who prevented a massive shooting by subduing two heavily-armed assailants.
- Fallen Sergeant Robert Wilson III (Philadelphia Police Department, PA) who gave his life to protect civilians during an armed robbery.
- Officer Niel Johnson (North Miami Police Department, FL) who pursued and apprehended a man who had already shot an officer and two innocent civilians.
- Deputy Joey Tortorella (Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, NY) who subdued a volatile gunman near an elementary school, who had already shot his own parents.