By Herald Staff
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac and the Cincinnati Police Department honored several police officers, dispatchers, call takers and security guards who protected the lives of bystanders and tended to those who had been injured when a gunman shot and killed three innocent people on Sept. 6 in the lobby of Fifth Third Bank Center in downtown Cincinnati. Police fatally shot the gunman, quickly ending his rampage.
Isaac presented Officer Jennifer Chilton, Officer Antonio Etter, Officer Eric Kaminsky and Police Specialist Gregory Toyeas with a Medal of Valor.
The ceremony is recorded on the Cincinnati Police Department’s Facebook page.
The group “ran into a gun fight” and fatally shot the gunman through the building’s glass façade, Isaac said. A Medal of Valor is awarded when officers exhibit an “extraordinary act of bravery without regard for their own personal safety.”
The shooter killed Prudhvi Raj Kandepi, 25; Richard Newcomer, 64; and Luis Felipe Calderón, 48. Two others were injured, including Fifth Third Vice President Whitney Austin, who survived 12 gunshots to the chest, neck, arms, torso and foot.
Mayor John Cranley said no amount of training could have taught the police officers to have the courage to stop the shooter.
Cranley said the gunman had hundreds of rounds of bullets and was intending to kill many more people. “But the incredible training and courage of our police department, demonstrated once again that we have one of the best police departments in the country.”
Also recognized at the ceremony was Thomas Ritter, who was in the lobby of the building when the shooting began. Ritter pulled numerous people entering the building to safety “without regard to his own safety,” police said.
Chief Eliot Isaac thanked dispatchers, 911 call takers, Chief Winston and Cincinnati Fire Department personnel, SWAT, Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, and the 200 other first responders who “saved many lives on that day.”