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Lieutenant Anthony Palermo, Sergeant James Vogel, and Detectives William Friburger Jr. and David Honick

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, PA

On June 22, 2015, multiple Pittsburgh police officers were dispatched on a call for shots fired. As the units were responding, multiple additional calls came in reporting that this was an "Active Shooter" incident. The incident began with the suspect firing shots from a semiautomatic rifle at a daycare center. The suspect then moved around the neighborhood, where he shot a male taxi driver, fired shots into occupied homes and vehicles, and carjacked a vehicle. As the reports were continually coming in, all available units responded to the area in search of the sounds of gunfire.

After the suspect carjacked the vehicle, he went mobile, firing shots at the responding officers and striking a sheriff deputy's vehicle. As the suspect fled in the stolen vehicle, he caused another sheriff deputy to become involved in a traffic collision. Sergeant James Vogel stopped traffic, causing the suspect who was driving the vehicle to become trapped in heavy traffic. Disregarding his own personal safety, Sergeant Vogel made his way on foot through the traffic, where he confronted the suspect seated in the vehicle. The suspect fired at him using the semiautomatic rifle. Sergeant Vogel returned fire, preventing the suspect from fleeing the car. Both he and the suspect exchanged numerous rounds.

Detectives William Friburger and David Honick and Sergeant Anthony Palermo approached the suspect’s vehicle on foot while he continued the gun battle with Sergeant Vogel. These three officers fired at the vehicle in order to neutralize the suspect. The suspect fired back at the approaching officers. The officers and the suspect exchanged numerous shots from close range, until the suspect was struck and succumbed to his injuries.

The actions of Sergeant Vogel, Detective Friburger, Detective Honick, and Sergeant Palermo demonstrate extraordinary bravery and a willingness to save the lives of others, without regard to their own personal safety.

The State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB) was presented by Representative Michael F. Doyle, 14th Dist. PA, in a ceremony at the Allegheny County Courthouse on May 26, 2017.