LAKEWOOD, Colo — On Wednesday, officers, restaurant workers and dispatchers were honored for their bravery last December when a gunman shot and killed five people in Denver and Lakewood. One of those honored was Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris, who risked her life to stop the shooter.
One of the last times many of them were all together was during a night of horror. On Wednesday they gathered again -- this time to celebrate their courage.
"Such was December 27, 2021 when an individual of pure hate and evil brought a deadly reign of violence to our communities," said the speaker.
During an awards ceremony the community honored those who tried to save lives that night, including two restaurant employees at Ted's Montana Grill.
According to police, the gunman entered the restaurant wearing a load-bearing vest with "Police" across the front. He immediately walked behind the bar and poured himself a pint of beer, said police.
"[The gunman] aimed a 9 millimeter handgun to Ms. Platt's head," said the speaker. "She told investigators she didn't feel fear but wanted to protect the patrons in the restaurant."
Police said Israel Platt was starting down the gunman when her coworker, Kevin Hall, stepped in front of her and the gun.
"He most certainly feared for his life and intervened only to save the life of Ms. Platt," the speaker said.
So many people put their own lives on the line. Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris was seriously hurt when she killed the gunman. She doesn't call herself a hero.
"He made a quick movement with his right hand and I tried to stop his hand and backed up and got distance and drew my gun and told him, 'Don't do this,' and he said, 'I'll show you what I'll do.'" said Agent Ferris. "And then we were engaged in a gunfight."
Agent Ferris was recognized for her courage along with the officers who responded to the scene with her.
"The five of you did not hesitate to expose yourself to potential gunfire to come to the aid of the critically wounded Agent Ferris," the speaker said.
The stage was shared by dozens of first responders from two counties. They were all recognized for their bravery and all bonded by a night they won't forget.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it plans to look into the shooting spree. The review will be part of the DOJ's efforts to develop a strategy to better respond to domestic threats.
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