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Officer Wade Irwin

San Diego Police Department, CA

On July 28, 2016, the San Diego Police Department's Gang Suppression Team was conducting saturation patrols targeting street gang activity in the Shelltown neighborhood of San Diego. Officers Jonathan DeGuzman and Wade Irwin were members of the suppression team and were partnered together when they came upon a suspicious male and elected to conduct a field stop and interview.

Officer Irwin exited the patrol vehicle and approached the subject. The subject then suddenly turned toward Officer Irwin, pointed a handgun at him, and began firing. Officer Irwin was struck in the neck and fell backward onto the ground next to the patrol vehicle. The suspect then advanced and fired at Officer DeGuzman, fatally striking him several times before he could get out of the patrol vehicle.

Officer Irwin was lying on the ground and bleeding profusely from the gunshot wound to his neck. Believing the suspect was going to kill him, Officer Irwin was able to gather his strength, retrieve his firearm from his holster, and return fire at the suspect. He was not immediately aware that he wounded the suspect in his return fire.

Although severely wounded in his neck, Officer Irwin was able to put out a distress call that prompted a citywide search for the suspect. The key information that Officer Irwin relayed, which included the suspect's physical description and direction of travel, proved instrumental in the intensive search that ensued. Approximately 40 minutes into the search, officers converged on a ravine nearby, where they located and apprehended the suspect.

A handgun believed to be the murder weapon was recovered nearby. Additional officers arrived on the scene and began rendering aid to Officers DeGuzman and Irwin. Officer DeGuzman was immediately placed into the backseat of a patrol vehicle and rushed to the hospital. Paramedics arrived at the scene and transported Officer Irwin to the hospital, where he ultimately survived his injuries. Tragically, Officer DeGuzman succumbed to his gunshot wounds.

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

The Congressional Badge of Bravery Ceremony was held on March 26, 2017, at het San Diego Police Department Headquarters.

A group of people standing together. The man in the middle is holding a Badge of Bravery award.
Congressman Duncan Hunter-CA 50th District, Officer Wade Irwin and family