President Trump held a ceremony at the White House today to present medals of valor to the police officers who responded to the Alexandria shooting. Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who were on a protective detail for Rep. Steve Scalise, were the first to receive the awards. Also honored today were three members of the Alexandria police force who responded to the incident within minutes: Officer Nicole Battalglia, Officer Alex Jenson and Officer Kevin Jobe.
“The medal of valor is reserved for those who go above and beyond the call of duty as each of these men and women did on that fateful day, and they did it with great courage and they did it with instinct,” Trump said. He continued, “When our human instincts tell us to run, there’s danger, our police and first responders run straight at it, standing in the breach, protecting the innocent and keeping our loved ones safe.” Trump then presented each officer with a medal as their citation was read aloud. Here’s video of the entire ceremony:
It is widely believed that if not for the presence of Special Agents Griner and Bailey at the field that day, the loss of life would have been much greater. Sen. Rand Paul, who was at the scene, told MSNBC, “Had they not been there it would have been a massacre.” From a CNN story published last month:
Rep. Roger Williams of Texas was at the GOP baseball practice Wednesday when the shooting started. He praised the two officers who fired back at the gunman.
“There could have easily been 25 deaths today,” Williams said. Then his voice began shaking.
“My family and I will be forever grateful.”
In a separate story, CNN reported on the actions of the three Alexandria officers:
Jobe immediately moved toward the shooting and took a position near the Capitol Police officers who were already engaged with the shooter, Brown said…
When Battaglia arrived on the scene, she “jumped out of the car, without cover, and moved toward the firefight,” according to Brown.
Battaglia was then pinned down by a “barrage of weapon fire.”
Brown credited this move for diverting the attention of the shooter, so the additional officers could get in position to take him down. As he arrived, Jensen positioned his cruiser to use as cover, retrieved his departmental rifle and “engaged the subject.”
Amid all of the other partisan battles going on this week, it’s good to see these officers being honored for preventing an extreme partisan, James Hodgkinson, from turning his rage into a massacre.