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Deputy McDonald receives nation's highest honor for valor | Video

WASHINGTON — Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Krista McDonald was presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor at the White House Wednesday, in a ceremony hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder.

McDonald was honored for her actions during a shootout with a kidnapping suspect, in which two officers were injured, at the Port Orchard Walmart in January 2011.  

Watch live at www.whitehouse.gov/live

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. The medal is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. Including Wednesday's recipients, 78 medals have been presented since the first recipients were honored in 2003.

To receive the Medal of Valor, public safety officers must be nominated by the chief executive officer of their employing agencies, recommended by the bipartisan Medal of Valor Review Board, and cited by the Attorney General. The Attorney General designated Mary Lou Leary, acting assistant attorney general in the department’s Office of Justice Programs, to serve as the federal point of contact for the Medal of Valor initiative. OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, led by Denise E. O’Donnell, assists in overseeing the Medal of Valor initiative.

Here's the citation:

2010-11 Medal of Valor 
Deputy Sheriff Krista McDonald, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Washington

On Jan. 23, 2011, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office had been given information on the location of a possibly armed suspect, accompanied by an underage female who was reported as missing from Utah and a runaway. Deputies Stacy and Ejde approached the suspect and his 13-year-old companion as they sat outside the entrance to a Walmart Store in Port Orchard, Washington. These deputies were assisted by Deputy Krista McDonald who had responded as an additional back-up.

The suspect refused to identify himself, and attempted to run from the location. Deputy Stacy tried to grab the suspect but missed and fell. Deputy Ejde ran after the suspect as he attempted to run across the street and into the parking lot. Halfway across the roadway, the suspect drew a semi-automatic handgun hidden on his person, turned and fired multiple shots. He struck Deputy Ejde twice, in the left shoulder and right arm. Deputy Ejde went down into a raised flowerbed. By this time Deputy Stacy had regained his footing and was running after the suspect. The suspect shot and wounded Deputy Stacy in the right shoulder. Deputy Stacy also fell to the asphalt.

Deputy McDonald began firing at suspect from her position at her patrol vehicle, approximately 90 - 100 feet distance. The suspect then directed his attention toward Deputy McDonald as she started to move toward her two downed colleagues. The suspect continued to shoot at both Deputy McDonald and Deputy Ejde. Advancing toward the suspect without benefit of protective cover, Deputy McDonald stayed in the gunfight and returned fire. The suspect was struck in the left leg and dropped to the pavement where he continued to fire on the deputies.

By this time Deputy McDonald had moved to within 60 feet of the suspect, placing herself in the line of fire to distract the suspect. The young girl, witnessing this, ran over to the suspect. As she approached she was shot by the suspect and mortally wounded. Moments later the suspect then committed suicide when he turned his handgun on himself.

Other recipients:
Firefighter Peter Demontreux, New York City Fire Department.

Firefighter Hope Scott and Battalion Chief William Reynolds, Virginia Beach, Va., Fire Department.

Officer Timothy McClintick, Officer Max McDonald, Officer Douglas Weaver, Sgt. Karl Lounge Jr. and fallen Sgt. Thomas Baitinger, St. Petersburg, Fla. Police Department.

Fallen Deputy Cameron Justus and fallen Deputy William Stiltner, Buchanan County, Va. Sheriff's Office.

 

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