WASHINGTON (WJZ)—For the first time, we get a detailed account from the injured D.C. cop who took out the Navy Yard shooter nine months ago. He was shot in the chest right where an armor plate protected his heart.
As Linh Bui reports, that officer is now getting a huge honor.
The Washington Police Foundation has named Officer Dorian DeSantis “Officer of the Year” for ending a rampage that killed 12 people and injured three others.
The guys who raced in to stop the Navy Yard killer are remarkably shy.
Reporter: “It’s almost like you guys are more scared of the TV cameras than you are of the gunman!”
Honoree: “That’s true.”
But after four tries, CBS News finally convinced DeSantis to talk about the moment he killed Aaron Alexis.
“We did encounter him in one of the cubes,” he said.
Reporter: “And he opened fire on you?”
“Correct,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis took a round in his bullet-resistant vest, returned fire, and then kept searching for a second gunman.
He didn’t realize he’d been shot.
“I’m a little slow. As long as you’re not leaking (blood), I still had work to do,” DeSantis said.
Days later, DeSantis checked his vest again.
“Sure enough, there was a round in the plate. I was very fortunate,” he said.
The vest saved his life.
“Aaron Alexis could literally have hid in that building for days. I mean, for days,” said Chief Cathy Lanier, D.C. Police.
The foundation honored the officers who ended the massacre in one hour and nine minutes.
“To go inside a building and search for an individual whose main mission is to kill individuals and then you have to go in there and search for him, that makes the hair on your neck stand up,” said Vernon Dallas, police officer.
And it is way scarier than a TV camera.
Nine other police officers who responded to the Navy Yard shooting were also honored. They described getting to the scene, hearing gunfire all around them but pressing on to find the gunman.
The winners of the Washington Police Foundation awards got a $500 check, a plaque, a lunch and a barbeque dinner.
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