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Lakewood officer who stopped shooting spree gets national honor

Lakewood Agent Ashley Ferris was named officer of the month by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The Lakewood Police officer who shot and killed a man accused of killing five people in the Denver area in December received national recognition Thursday for her "remarkable courage."

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) in Washington, D.C., named Agent Ashley Ferris as its Officer of the Month for June. Ferris was on patrol Dec. 27 when she encountered a shooter who had already killed five people. When the gunfight was over, the shooter was dead, and Ferris was on the ground, shot in the stomach.

“Facing a gunman with a vendetta who was impersonating a fellow officer, Officer Ferris displayed remarkable courage, putting her own safety and well-being aside in spite of being critically wounded, to stop a suspect on a rampage,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of NLEOMF.

> The video above originally aired May 18: First responders honored for bravery during crime spree in Lakewood

Credit: Lakewood Police Department

The NLEOMF Officer of the Month Program has recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary service and devotion to duty since 1996. The last Colorado officer to be recognized was Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Michael Hutton in September 2021.

RELATED: 'I got lucky': Lincoln County deputy shot 3 times, released from hospital

“We celebrate her heroism and professionalism during unimaginable circumstances," Ferranto said. "Her quick action undoubtedly saved many more lives from a gunman who had already assassinated five citizens. Officer Ferris is an inspiration, and we’re very proud to recognize her with this honor.”

NLEOMF will hold a ceremony to recognize all its 2022 Officers of the Month in October 2023.

The Lakewood Police Department (LPD) has also awarded Ferris the Purple Heart and Medal of Distinguished Service.

When Ferris spoke with 9NEWS in May – speaking publicly for the first time since that December night – she insisted that she wasn't a hero and was only doing her job. But hundreds of people, many of them strangers, had sent cards and letters to her that said otherwise.

RELATED: Lakewood officer who stopped shooting spree speaks publicly for the first time

 "I hope everyone knows that I read every card," she said. "I can't thank everyone enough. It meant a lot to me."

 > Watch the full interview with Ferris:

Her injuries required two surgeries, a total of about three weeks in the hospital and ongoing physical rehabilitation.

Ferris, a four-year veteran of the Lakewood Police Department, said she loves her job and the toughest part of the entire ordeal was not being able to work.

"It sounds silly, but I think this has been a good event for me. It's given me a better focus on what matters," Ferris said. "I stress less about traffic, I can tell you that."

RELATED: First responders, civilians honored for bravery during crime spree in Denver and Lakewood

RELATED: Shooting spree suspect shot and killed by Lakewood officer, autopsy confirms

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