2007 Medal of Valor Class
Frederick Guthrie, Missouri State Water Patrol
On June 22, 2007, Officer Guthrie was investigating reports of capsized or swamped boats during his patrol on Smithville Lake during a severe thunderstorm. The lake had waves as high as six feet, creating conditions that were much too dangerous for Officer Guthrie’s standard patrol boat, forcing him to return to the marina. Before Officer Guthrie was able to reach the marina, he learned that a woman without a life jacket had been thrown from her boat and was clinging to a buoy in the lake. Risking his own personal safety, Officer Guthrie returned to the dangerous conditions on the lake and was able to rescue the woman from the water.
Daniel Romig, Platte County Sheriff’s Department
On Aug. 15, 2007, Deputy Romig was traveling along I-435 Highway in Kansas on his day off when he witnessed a wreck. A 17-year-old driver had struck a semi-truck, causing the semi to go over the guardrail of the bridge and strike the embankment below. The truck overturned and the driver was thrown from the vehicle. The semi caught fire, and Deputy Romig immediately stopped his vehicle to assist the semi-driver who was not moving. While Deputy Romig was able to pull the driver to safety, the injuries the driver sustained in the accident were too severe and he later died at a nearby hospital. In the process of pulling the driver to safety, Deputy Romig received first and second degree burns on his arms and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Carl Beier, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department
On Sept. 8, 2007, Deputy Beier responded to a violent disturbance report at a rural residence in Jefferson County. As he approached the house, an individual came outside and charged toward Deputy Beier holding what appeared to be an assault rifle. Deputy Beier was able to stay calm and keep the 9-1-1 dispatch center and other responding deputies informed about the situation. Deputy Beier ordered the responding deputies to not pull into the driveway, fearing that the man would ambush them. Deputy Beier was able to stand his ground while under continuous fire, incapacitate and apprehend the suspect, saving multiple lives.
Grant Hendrix, Missouri State Highway Patrol
On March 16, 2007, the Patrol was notified that Neosho Police officers Sgt. Dan Cook and Patrolman Mike Sharp were shot during a routine traffic stop. Sgt. Cook was shot in the arm while making the stop, while Patrolman Sharp was shot in the face while in pursuit. Trooper Hendrix was dispatched to the last known location of the suspect where he met a vehicle matching the description of the suspects. The vehicle attempted to escape Trooper Hendrix, and a short distance later Trooper Hendrix found the suspect’s vehicle stopped in the road. The suspect ambushed Trooper Hendrix and opened fire, striking Hendrix’s vehicle at least five times. The suspect attempted to flee in his vehicle, and stopped in the roadway again shortly after. Trooper Hendrix stopped about 50 yards away from the suspect’s vehicle, and the suspect opened fire a second time. This time, Trooper Hendrix returned fire while seated in his patrol car. Trooper Hendrix then abandoned his car, moving to the rear of his vehicle for cover. The suspect fled again, and Trooper Hendrix continued the pursuit as the suspect led him into a wooded area. Two deputies with the McDonald County Sheriff’s Department spotted the suspect’s SUV on a road, and the suspect rammed the deputies’ vehicle and then opened fire. The deputies returned fire and the suspect fled on foot. Later, a tip led law enforcement officers to a residence, and officers spotted the suspect running across a field near the location. The suspect was finally apprehended and arrested, ending a 13-hour manhunt.