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Officer Ben Campbell, Copley Police Department, Ohio

Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery

On August 7, 2011, the Copley Police Department received numerous 911 calls reporting an active shooter working his way through a neighborhood of single-family homes. The reports indicated that the shooter was moving about a very large area, chasing and shooting at persons as they ran through several yards and past many homes.

Officer Campbell was the first officer to arrive on the scene, at which point he discovered five deceased victims from gunshot wounds. At this time, the shooter was reported to be running through the neighborhood, chasing additional victims. A citizen was able to provide a detailed description of the suspect and direct Officer Campbell to a wooded area with several homes and outbuildings, where the suspect was last seen.

At significant personal risk, Officer Campbell began searching for the suspect without waiting for backup. He recognized that he had to stop the shooter as quickly as possible.  As he neared a home, another resident who was a former police officer, came out of his home to assist Officer Campbell. Campbell instructed him to return to his home. Suddenly, the shooter emerged from behind a large tree, armed with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Officer Campbell issued commands to the suspect to drop his weapon, but the suspect did not obey. Instead, he turned toward Officer Campbell with his gun raised in a threatening manner. Officer Campbell fired three shots, striking the suspect two times. The suspect turned momentarily to run but then collapsed. During the preceding rampage, the suspect shot a total of eight persons at four different addresses within a large area. Seven of the victims, including two 16-year-old girls, died. The eighth victim, his girlfriend, was seriously wounded but recovered from her injuries.

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