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Detective Roy Gibbs, Baltimore County Police Department, Maryland

2017 State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Recipient

On June 7, 2017, Baltimore County Police officers were dispatched to an armed robbery where the subject was reported to have just boarded a Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) bus. The caller, who witnessed the robbery from the bus, described a man with an orange beard, wearing a gray sweat suit; however, it was unclear if the individual who boarded the bus was the suspect or the victim.

Responding to the call, Officer Erica Slocum canvassed the area and eventually located an MTA bus traveling north in front of a busy shopping center. She and Officer Gary Leary stopped and boarded the MTA bus. Officer Slocum was walking to the rear of the bus when the suspect brandished a handgun and pointed it in her direction. Officer Slocum drew her firearm and advised passengers to take cover, as Officer Leary radioed to let other officers know the suspect was armed with a gun.

Officer Slocum realized that she could not safely discharge her firearm because it would have placed at risk the civilian passengers, who were between her and the suspect, at risk. The suspect then fired two rounds at Officer Slocum, at which point both officers exited the bus and took cover. Some passengers fled and took cover. The suspect then ordered the remaining passengers off the bus. The suspect retrieved a second handgun, high capacity magazines, and more ammunition from his book bag. During this period, Aviation Unit Air 3 updated units on the ground about the suspect’s movements while in the bus. The suspect then began firing out the door of the bus at the two officers. Additional units arrived on the scene, and radio transmissions made it clear the situation had escalated to an active shooter situation. Officers began assisting the driver of the MTA bus who was lying in the roadway with a leg injury. The suspect, armed with a gun in each hand, continued to shoot in multiple directions from the doorway of the bus. The patrol cars being used for cover were riddled with bullets.

The suspect then fired several rounds at the officers, striking and disabling two patrol cars. When Detective Roy Gibbs arrived on the scene, he joined Officer Slocum at the rear of the bus. As he exited his vehicle, he also came under fire. Detective Gibbs returned fire, yelling to get the attention of Officer Slocum, who was not in a safe position. He instructed her to take up a position with him behind his vehicle as the suspect continued to fire sporadically at them.

As Detective Gibbs moved to retrieve his Kevlar helmet, the suspect fired multiple rounds through his vehicle’s front windshield, nearly striking him. He crouched down beside his vehicle as the suspect fired additional rounds into it. Detective Gibbs returned fire and then took cover. Shortly after, the suspect ran out of the rear door of the bus and toward a group of row houses. He took cover behind a white van parked at the intersection as officers repositioned themselves and continued exchanging gunfire with the suspect. The officers also gave lifesaving instructions to nearby civilians who were pinned down by gunfire behind patrol cars.

While behind the van, the suspect continued firing multiple rounds at the officers, one striking Officer Slocum in the right thigh. She yelled to Detective Gibbs that she had been shot. As he turned around, he saw that she was lying on her back in the street. He radioed, "officer down, officer down," and without hesitation, he left the safety of cover to rescue Officer Slocum. Detective Gibbs pulled her to the rear of his vehicle, and propped her up against the rear tire, using the rim for protection. Without a tourniquet readily available, he instructed Officer Slocum to keep pressure on her wound.

Concerned that the suspect may advance on them, Detective Gibbs quickly assessed Officer Slocum's injuries and realized that the threat needed to be eliminated. He placed Officer Slocum's handgun back into her hands and told her, “I’ll be right back,” and then re-engaged the suspect. Shortly thereafter, the suspect was wounded by the gunfire from several officers on the scene.

As the officers moved in, they observed that the suspect was still in possession of a handgun and was attempting to raise his arm to engage the officers again. The suspect did not comply as officers ordered him to drop the gun. Several officers then fired, fatally wounding the suspect and ending the threat. Officer Slocum was transported to the Shock Trauma Center where she underwent surgery on her wounded leg. A female bystander, who was also wounded during the incident, was transported to the hospital where she received treatment.

Each of the officers involved in this violent incident displayed great courage and dedication as they engaged the suspect and sought to end the threat while also protecting the lives of the citizens in the vicinity. They are all commended for their decisiveness to quickly end this violent and escalating incident. Detective Gibbs' decision to leave his cover in order to rescue a wounded officer, while under fire, represents extreme valor and courage. His actions were instrumental in preventing further injury to the wounded officer.

September 12, 2019, Presentation Ceremony

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