Ryan Windham, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E

On March 6, 2017, Trooper Windham was on routine patrol on southbound Interstate 57 in Mississippi County when he observed a motor vehicle that was missing a front license plate. Trooper Windham followed the vehicle and activated his lights and siren. The driver refused to stop. A pursuit ensued and ended when the driver slid of a roadway. As Trooper Windham approached the stopped car, the front seat passenger fled on foot. The back seat passenger exited and began firing a handgun at Trooper Windham. Trooper Windham returned fire and moved toward the rear of his patrol car for cover. The suspect fired at least six rounds, three of which struck Windham’s vehicle, one hitting the vehicle’s spotlight, directly in front of Trooper Windham. A manhunt later took place and all three occupants were taken into custody without incident. All three were convicted felons and members of a violent gang with outstanding warrants for their arrests. Trooper Windham’s attention to detail and bravery under fire resulted in the apprehension of these violent offenders.

Christopher Papineau, Columbia Police Department

On the evening of May 13, 2017, a gunman, high on Methamphetamine, was firing a shotgun indiscriminately from the back of a residence. The gunman was in a tree and had a box of shotgun shells. Upon arriving, two officers were struck by shotgun pellets. The officers tried to negotiate with the gunman and set up a perimeter, but he quickly escaped with the gun and ammunition. The Columbia Police Department SWAT team was activated. As the first group of SWAT officers arrived in the area, the gunman was seen climbing onto the roof of an events center several blocks from the original scene. Inside, a graduation party was taking place. Many residents were also outdoors at a neighboring multi-story apartment complex. The SWAT team pulled within 60 yards of the gunman. He refused to comply with demands and stated he wanted to kill or seriously wound law enforcement officers and that he would not surrender. The gunman was in a prone shooting position when a pedestrian walked into his field of fire. Officer Papineau fired a single shot to prevent the gunman from harming the pedestrian. The gunman fell from the roof and was pronounced dead. Facing a gunman who had fired at civilians and officers, stated his intention to harm or kill others, and refused to negotiate, Officer Papineau acted to protect innocent civilians.