A pair of Vienna police officers won an award last week for helping turn the tables on a shooting suspect back in October 2021.
During a March 30 ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, officers Emily Lichtenberg and Alex Murray received a Silver Medal of Valor at the 45th annual Fairfax County Valor Awards, which recognize achievements by local first responders.
According to the Town of Vienna Police Department, Lichtenberg and Murray earned the medal for responding to a shooting outside the Navy Federal Credit Union at 820 Follin Lane on the morning of Oct. 7, 2021.
“Upon arrival, they determined that two individuals got into an argument while inside a vehicle, during which one produced a handgun and shot the other in the upper body,” the department said in a news release.
Assisted by a helicopter and K-9 units form the Fairfax County Police Department, the two officers began to search for the suspect, the VPD recounted.
During the search of the surrounding area, “Fairfax One” (helicopter) located a heat source that appeared to be a person hiding in the bushes near the W&OD trail. Almost simultaneously, the K-9 unit alerted on the same area. Coming from the direction of the heat source, officers heard the sound of a handgun being manipulated and the distinct sound of the slide of a gun being racked and slamming into battery. At that time, officers suspected that they had been spotted and the suspect was moving into a position to ambush them.
After taking cover and coordinating a plan, officers moved in and surprised the suspect causing him to lose balance and fall down a hill adjacent to the W&OD trail. During the fall, the suspect lost control of his handgun and was taken into custody. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was found to be in possession of a fully loaded Glock handgun.
Another Vienna police officer, Greg Hylinski, was recognized at last week’s ceremony with a Lifesaving Award for providing emergency medical aid, including CPR, to a Navy Federal Credit Union employee who had collapsed.
“As treatment continued, MPO Hylinski began coordinating the on-scene response, which included determining the patient’s identity and notifying the next of kin,” Vienna police said. “MPO Hylinski maintained a composed and professional bearing as he began the preliminary investigation. MPO Hylinski’s performance in this stressful situation was exemplary.”
A total of 193 individuals were honored by this year’s Valor Awards, according to The Connection. The highest honor — the Gold Medal of Valor — went to FCPD officers Lance Guckenberger and Matthew Grubb, who responded to a shooting and hostage situation in Pimmit Hills on Dec. 17, 2021.
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