Officer Carlos Lopez

(Austin Police Department, TX)

On July 5, 2015, the Austin 911 Center received a phone call from the manager at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, TX. The manager stated that a man with a gun was in the lobby. Three minutes into the call, the manager stated that the gunman had just shot someone.

Patrol Officer Carlos Lopez arrived on scene and quickly moved to the front of the hotel in an attempt to locate the gunman. The gunman appeared outside and fired his weapon toward Officer Lopez. Officer Lopez returned fire continuously as he entered the hotel in pursuit of the gunman.

The gunman took cover inside and continued to fire his weapon toward the officer. Officer Lopez located the gunman and fatally wounded him, ending the threat. It was learned later that the gunman had entered the hotel with an AR rifle and enough ammunition to injure or kill a number of occupants at the 329-room hotel.

The shooting victim, who was fatally wounded by the suspect, was a taxi cab driver who had come to the hotel to pick up a fare. He had tried to intervene to stop the suspect from shooting others prior to police arrival. The suspect and victim did not know each other.

The actions of Officer Lopez demonstrate extraordinary bravery and a willingness to save the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.

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