Deputy United States Marshal Richard Gardner

(United States Marshal Service, Nevada)

On January 4, 2010, at approximately 8:00 a.m. Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard Gardner was seated at his desk when he heard what appeared to be gunshots coming from the main lobby of the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse.  Deputy Gardner immediately and without any concern for his own safety responded to the sounds of the gun shots.

In an attempt to flank shooters that may have been in the lobby, Deputy Gardner ran down a stairwell to an area outside of the main lobby and immediately realized he was in the open.  The armed gunman had already retreated from the lobby and taken a covered defensive position outside, approximately 40 feet from the stairwell exit.

Instead of retreating back into the safety of the stairwell, Deputy Gardner engaged the gunman in gunfire in a heroic effort to end the threat and limit the tragic repercussions of that day.  Deputy Gardner was wounded during this exchange of gunfire and received serious injuries from shotgun pellets to his face, torso, and left arm.

Although he was wounded and had restricted vision due to blood coming from his injuries, Deputy Gardner continued to fight and was essential to the outcome of the incident by feeding critical information on the gunman’s description and location to another Deputy U.S. Marshal who was responding from the same stairwell.

Deputy Gardner’s actions delayed the gunman and forced him away from his position of cover allowing responding marshals and court security officers to also engage the gunman and end the threat.  At the end of the extremely violent encounter, the gunman and one court security officer were dead and numerous court family employees were traumatized.  However, it is widely accepted that Deputy Gardner’s quick thinking and heroic actions prevented further bloodshed that day.

Media Releases

Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard J. Gardner Among First Honored with Congressional Badge of Bravery

Gardner Ceremony Invitation