Shawn M. Dougherty and Jason C. Kuessner, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop D

On Aug. 16, 2019, members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office were met with a barrage of gunfire as they attempted to execute a writ of eviction in rural Carter County. Trooper Caleb McCoy was struck in the shoulder and Carter County Deputy Brigg Pierson was struck in the leg, groin and chest. While McCoy and another deputy were able to retreat, Pierson was very seriously wounded and fell down on the porch. Nearby, Corporal Kuessner encouraged and then pleaded for the injured Deputy Pierson to attempt to roll off the porch to a position out of the gunman’s line of fire. Deputy Pierson, summoning all his strength, rolled off the porch and crawled two steps from the residence but then collapsed. Corporal Kuessner then put himself in harm’s way by leaving his covered position to drag Pierson to behind a vehicle nearby. Master Sgt. Dougherty then ran from his position at a tree line to assist. With Deputy Pierson in medical distress and time of the essence, Dougherty, with his M-16 rifle, and Kuessner, with his service pistol drawn, then managed to drag Deputy Pierson to the tree line and an ambulance. After spending four weeks in the hospital, Deputy Pierson was able to return home, and he continues to recover through his own strength and perseverance, and because of the courage and valiant efforts of Master Sgt. Dougherty and Corporal Kuessner.

Keaton L. Ebersold, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H and Shannon Sherwood, Rock Port Police Department

On Jan. 23, 2019, Trooper Ebersold and Chief Sherwood responded to a call for a hostage situation on I-29 in Atchison County. A truck driver exited the vehicle with his hands up, saying a woman with a gun was in the sleeper cab with a child. Trooper Ebersold went to the passenger side; Chief Sherwood approached the driver side. Both doors were locked. A window punch was used to break the driver side window. The woman had her left arm around a small child and held a flare gun in her right hand, loaded and cocked, and pointed at the three-year-old’s head. The woman refused to negotiate and ordered Ebersold and Sherwood out of the vehicle. She pointed the flare gun at Ebersold as he attempted to speak with her, before pointing it back toward the child. As Chief Sherwood worked to calm and distract the woman, she slightly lowered the flare gun so it wasn’t aimed at the child. Trooper Ebersold immediately lunged inside the vehicle and wrapped his left hand around the hammer of the flare gun to lock it in place. Chief Sherwood and Trooper Ebersold struggled to control the woman while ensuring the safety of the child. Once Ebersold had the flare gun, he threw it out of the truck, and the woman was taken into custody. Trooper Ebersold and Chief Sherwood exhibited exceptional resourcefulness and tenacity to end the threat to the young child.

Thomas M. Buchness, Christian County Sheriff’s Office

On June 18, 2019, Deputy Sheriff Buchness responded to a call in the Sparta area for a young woman clinging to a large log in the Finley River with swift water conditions. She was suffering a panic attack and struggling to breathe. Deputy Buchness traveled through a wooded area and found the victim’s condition worsening. He threw her a long heavy duty extension cord and directed her to secure herself to the log. The woman was disoriented and was losing consciousness. She had been desperately holding on for some time and needed immediate attention. Deputy Buchness removed his duty gear, descended a steep embankment and carefully climbed out onto the log. Once he reached the victim, he reassured her she would be OK. As fire service personnel began to assemble at the riverbank, the victim was provided with a life jacket; the extension cord was used as a rescue rope for the victim and Deputy Buchness to safely get to the riverbank. The victim was treated by EMS. During an extremely tense situation, Deputy Buchness exhibited calm, decisive action and resourcefulness, which facilitated the rescue of a woman in imminent danger of drowning

Christopher S. Robertson, Calverton Park Police Department

On Dec. 17, 2019, Corporal Robertson responded to assist the Ferguson Police Department after a 10-year-old boy had fallen from a diving board into the closed public pool at January-Wabash Park. There was about seven feet of water in the pool and the air temperature was 32 degrees. Upon arrival, a Ferguson officer was already in the water. He had pulled the child up from under the water, but the officer was now struggling due to the icy water and the physical exertion of propping up the lifeless child. The officer was fatigued and now in danger himself. Corporal Robertson immediately jumped into the pool. He prioritized rescuing the rescue of the child. Once the youngster was out of the water, Corporal Robertson worked to rescue the Ferguson officer. He got him to the edge of the pool, where others responders pulled him to safety. The child, who had been in the water for an estimated 20 minutes, received CPR at the scene and was flown by helicopter to a children’s hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the next day. Without regard for his own life, Corporal Robertson courageously jumped into the icy pool and successfully pulled out two people. The Ferguson officer survived.