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Major David Huff (Midwest City Police Department, OK)

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

Major David Huff is honored for acting courageously and without regard for his personal safety in saving the life of a two-year-old child.

On June 17, 2013, a man who was recently released from the Texas correctional system after completing a 10-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon grabbed a 2-year-old girl out of a shopping cart being pushed by her mother in a grocery store parking lot. Her 12-year-old sibling watched in horror as the man threatened the child with a 5-inch knife while their mother pleaded for her daughter's release. The man handed the mother his cell phone and demanded that she call a Dallas, Texas officer named Kevin.

Every available officer responded to the 911 calls. When they asked him to release the child, he became more agitated. Major Huff, a 20-year police veteran and trained hostage negotiator, arrived and began an emotional 34-minute negotiation session with the man, who continued to hold the little girl at knife point.

While the SWAT team arrived and negotiations deteriorated, Major Huff pleaded with the man to release the girl, but he refused and told Major Huff that he had 60 seconds to comply with his demands or he was going to hurt the child. He drew the knife to the child's throat as he screamed, "60, 50, 40..." The SWAT team was not in position to take a shot when the man's count neared zero, so Major Huff moved forward and shot him in the head at point-blank range. The shot fatally wounded the man and Major Huff was able to bring the girl to safety.

Date Published: September 8, 2020