Officers Jeremy Copeland and Michael Jasiukiewicz
Pinellas Park (FL) Police Department
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Officers Jeremy Copeland and Michael Jasiukiewicz, of the Pinellas Park (FL) Police Department, as the recipients of its Officer of the Month Award for July 2017.
In the late evening of June 25, 2016, Officers Copeland and Jasiukiewicz were called to a residential area in Pinellas Park, Fla., about a domestic dispute. A woman met them at an intersection to explain that her husband angrily threw a glass filled with beer at her when she asked him to pay for it having brought it back from the store at his request. The wife grabbed her keys and left the house to call the police. The officers followed the wife back to the house upon learning that the husband had guns on the premises.
They entered a darkened house, illuminated only by a light from the kitchen. As they proceeded through the house, Officer Jasiukiewicz found the body of a man, who turned out to be the couple’s adult son, lying in the hall. The son had attempted to find out what was causing the argument between his parents when he engaged in an argument with his father, who shot him fifteen times.
Officer Copeland was informed by the wife that she saw her husband in the kitchen with a gun as she walked out of the residence. As the officer started to warn Officer Jasiukiewicz of the gun, the suspect started shooting at the officers from the kitchen/dining area. Officer Copeland attempted to shoot the suspect but missed. The suspect began yelling for the officers to leave the house, as the officers responded with their commands for the husband to drop his weapon and get on the floor.
As the suspect walked out of the kitchen with his hands raised and still holding the gun, he walked toward Officer Copeland, ignoring instructions to drop the weapon. When Officer Jasiukiewicz saw the suspect continue to advance on Officer Copeland and then point his gun at the officer, he opened fire on the suspect, as did Officer Copeland. The suspect was shot several times and died.
The officers have been given numerous awards “for engaging in an actual combat with a criminal adversary armed with a deadly weapon during an incident involving imminent risk of personal injury to themselves or others, and an act of outstanding bravery involving courage and personal danger,” said Pinellas Park Police Chief Michael Haworth.
“In the face of an overwhelming domestic situation such as this, Officers Copeland and Jasiukiewicz were able to neutralize an armed gunman who killed his own son,” Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said. “It is because of this bravery that we present to them the Officer of the Month Award for July 2017.”
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.