Los Angeles News

LAPD honors personnel for heroism

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Their brave act stopped a killer in action. Two officers who took out a gunman shooting at drivers in Hollywood were recognized Thursday for their heroism.

The Los Angeles Police Department awarded Detective Craig Marquez with its highest honor, the Medal of Valor for bravery and courage in the line of duty. The department also honored Officer Kevin Cotter with the same distinguished award.

Detective Marquez and Officer Cotter are also to be honored by President Obama in a White House ceremony for police officers receiving national awards.

Last year Marquez and Cotter shot and killed a gunman who randomly opened fire on passing motorists in Hollywood. During the shooting rampage, the gunman killed music executive John Atterberry. Marquez and Cotter say even though they stopped what could have been further tragedy, they do not see themselves as heroes.

"You've got to stand up to the plate if something goes bad, goes sideways like this did. You've got to do your job," said Cotter. "I'm not into all the hero stuff. I had a father that was a Marine in World War II that was a hero. I'm no comparison to him."

"You have people screaming, pleading for help, and you hear that scream and they're looking at you and you wear this uniform. That is a trust that the public has in you during those times, and to do anything other than what we did is a violation of that trust." said Marquez.

In all, the LAPD honored 14 officers. Some received the Medal of Valor, others received the Purple Heart, which is given to those who are wounded or killed in the line of duty.

The theme of the award ceremony was "Above and Beyond." It was held in Hollywood. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck had a few words for the men and women in blue.

"So this is bittersweet event for me," said Beck. "It's sweet because we get to recognize those that have been successful in the challenges that face this occupation. And it's bitter become some of those that we recognize have been severely injured and even killed."

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Tags:
lapd, charlie beck, officer-involved shooting, los angeles news, leo stallworth
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