Lakewood, Colorado Officer’s courage and heroism prevents additional casualties in gunman’s vendetta
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2022) – The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) today announced Police Agent Ashley Ferris of the Lakewood (Colorado) Police Department as the Officer of the Month for June 2022. Ferris was selected for the honor after she was ambushed and shot by a gunman who had previously killed five people and seriously wounded two others. Even though she was critically wounded, Ferris managed to return fire and fatally shoot the gunman, preventing further casualties.
On December 27, 2021, a 47-year-old gunman with a vendetta began a trail of death and destruction that ended at the Belmar shopping district in Lakewood, Colorado. In the span of an hour, the suspect had assassinated five people and seriously wounded two. He set fire to a vehicle, menaced and terrified countless victims, and confronted Denver and Lakewood police in gun battles. Following a chase, the suspect, wearing a “Police” vest and armed with a rifle, walked through a hotel and up to Agent Ferris and engaged in conversation before pulling his weapon and shooting six times at Agent Ferris, critically wounding her in the abdomen below her protective vest. Shot, bleeding, but unwavering, Agent Ferris returned fire and fatally shot the gunman.
“Facing a gunman with a vendetta who was impersonating a fellow officer, Officer Ferris displayed remarkable courage, putting her own safety and well-being aside in spite of being critically wounded, to stop a suspect on a rampage,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “We celebrate her heroism and professionalism during unimaginable circumstances. Her quick action undoubtedly saved many more lives from a gunman who had already assassinated five citizens. Officer Ferris is an inspiration and we’re very proud to recognize her with this honor.”
For her conspicuous act of heroism involving extreme risk of life and self-sacrifice, on May 18, Officer Ferris was also awarded both the Purple Heart and Medal of Distinguished service by Daniel McCasky, Chief of Police for the Lakewood Police Department.
The Officer of the Month Award Program is sponsored by the Police Unity Tour and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the fallen, telling the story of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. The first pillar of this mission, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., honors the names of all of the 23,229 officers who have died in the line of duty to date throughout U.S. history. Additionally, NLEOMF maintains and publishes comprehensive details on the circumstances surrounding official line-of-duty deaths. The Officer Safety and Wellness pillar uses that data, coupled with best-practice program models, to produce programming directed at solutions to improve survivability and enhance wellness. NLEOMF’s third pillar, the National Law Enforcement Museum (LawEnforcementMuseum.org) is committed to preserving the history of American law enforcement and sharing the experiences of service and sacrifice for generations to come.