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2002 Award for Valor

2002 Award for Valor

Lt. Ron Capps and Officer Ernest Kevin Brown -Medical University of South Carolina

Lt. Ron Capps and Officer Ernest Kevin Brown -Medical University of South CarolinaOn the 10th of July 2001, at approximately 3:50 a.m., Officer Brown along with other officers of the Medical University of South Carolina Department of Public Safety, responded to a call for assistance from the Charleston City Police Department. Three-armed robbery suspects pursued by the Charleston City Police fled their vehicle in front of 55 Courtney Street and escaped into the University parking garage #1.

One suspect was appended at the vehicle and the second suspect was arrested behind the parking structure. The third suspect escaped and was pursued by University Public Safety Officers.

Armed with a Tech-9 semi-automatic weapon, the suspect fired in excess of 20 rounds before being confined behind an abandoned building at 216 Spring Street. Extending his arm around the side of the building, the suspect fired four shots with one hitting Public Safety Lt. Ron Capps in the lower leg. Lt. Capps fell to the ground wile returning fire at the suspect.

Realizing that his lieutenant was shot and was in the direct line of fire, Officer Brown, completely unprotected, ran across Spring Street and covered Lt. Capps’ body with his own. Despite a barrage of continuing gunfire by the suspect, Officer Brown continued to cover Lt. Capps until help arrived and Lt. Capps could be transported to the hospital.

Lt. Capps provided critical guidance and direction to the Medical University of South Carolina officers during the pursuit. He assumed operational control on the incident from its inception. Lt. Capps directed and participated in the pursuit and deployed his officers to contain the fleeing suspect. Lt. Capps’ quick response, thorough knowledge of police procedures, and attention to detail provided the critical direction necessary to adapt to the constantly changing scenario. The incident lasted over 51 minutes, included a 7-minute running gun battle, in four different locations, and there were over 23 rounds fired by the suspect.

During this time, Lt. Capps made on the spot adjustments to officer positioning and responded to this extremely fluid crisis without hesitation. His warning of the gunman’s approach to Officer Davis may very well have saved the officer’s life.

Lt. Ron Capps’ ability to direct and monitor officers during a chaotic and fluid pursuit culminating in a gun battle was instrumental in the successful resolution of this incident. Lt. Ron Capps has set an example for his fellow officers to follow.

Officer Ernest Kevin Brown demonstrated outstanding courage and gallantry. While shots were being fired and the shooter less than 30 feet away, Officer Brown placed the life of his fellow officer above his own. When Officer Brown covered the body of his fallen lieutenant with his own, he performed the purest act of heroism possible when under fire.

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