Seven officers received a pat on the back Monday for the life-saving measures they took to help rescue a juvenile victim during a stabbing incident in June. Police Chief Zachary Flores presented the officers with a number of commendations that included the department's highest award, the medal of honor.
The presentation took place during Monday night's city council meeting.
"All of the officers' joint actions contributed to taking a violent suspect into custody and saving the life of a juvenile victim," Assistant Police Chief Bruce Dawsey said. "Their professionalism and compassion brought great honor to the department."
On the morning of June 23, Sherman police received a call of a stabbing in the 1900 block of Pebblebrook Lane shortly after 5 a.m.. The caller, a female juvenile told the officers that her father had been stabbed.
Officers Kylon Harvey and Priscilla Tirado responded to the call, while officers Jared Gibson, Dylan Anglin, Chris Stephens, Kevin Yu and Corp. Scott Barker provided backup.
Upon arrival, Harvey knocked on the door but there was no answer. Harvey forced entry into the home after hearing the female victim call for help from inside. Gibson and Tirado followed him inside and began to search for the victim.
In a bedroom, Harvey encountered Chazz Hailey, who was holding a large knife and blocking entry to an attached bathroom. Hailey was later identified as a family member of the victims.
For about two minutes of negotiation with Hailey then retreated into the backroom and closed the door. At this time, Tirado and Gibson opened fire on the suspect in an attempt to prevent Hailey from attacking the victims in the bathroom.
Harvey forced his way into the bathroom and observed the female victim being attacked by Hailey. At this time, Harvey opened fire on Hailey, fatally shooting him. Gibson grabbed the female victim and moved to where Stephens and Anglin were able to provide life-saving first aid until medics could arrive.
"If officers had not taken such immediate action to save her life, she would not have been saved," Dawsey said.
Barker attempted to provide first aid to the male victim, identified as William Patterson Sr., however his injuries proved to be fatal.
For his efforts and bravery on that day, Harvey was awarded the SPD Medal of Honor. To his knowledge, Harvey is the only officer who has been given this award, Flores said.
Officers Pirado and Gibson were awarded the department’s medal of valor for their efforts. All three, along with Stephens and Anglin were awarded the department’s life saving award, while all six plus Yu were awarded a department commendation.
"None of the awards we give out tonight are ones you see often," Flores said."They come from truly unfortunate circumstances and good decision making."
The ceremony was attended by Angela Patterson and William Patterson Jr., who thanked officers for helping to save their sister during the incident.
"We definitely support them and wanted them to know that," Angela Patterson said.
Patterson said her sister is recovering from her injuries and has since been released from the hospital. She is receiving therapy to help her recovery from the incident.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at email@example.com.