Five members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department were recently recognized for their exemplary service.
Medal of Valor
Sergeant A.J. Zarrillo and Deputy Brad Norton were honored with the Medal of Valor, the highest award of recognition in Law Enforcement.
Zarrillo and Norton responded in an effort to assist the Missouri Highway Patrol with a high speed chase which originated in Richmond, Mo., with the suspect driving a stolen vehicle. The chase ended at LaBenite Park, where the suspect was then on foot. While Deputies were in route it was learned that numerous shots had been fired at the Troopers during the chase.
When they arrived Zarrillo and Norton took up a tactical position while watching Troopers and Independence Officers attempt to negotiate with the suspect, who was standing on the boat ramp near the river’s edge. The suspect was told repeatedly to show his hands and that he was under arrest. He then started walking away from officers.
Zarrillo and Norton maneuvered into a position closer to the suspect in an attempt to subdue him. Suddenly, he turned back facing the officers and started firing in their direction. Zarrillo and Norton, seeing the immediate threat of being shot, returned fire striking and killing the suspect.
Sheriff Mike Sharp said, “Due to their composure during the negotiation attempts by both State Troopers and Independence Police Officers and then moving into a tactical position of advantage, our members acted on their training and with those quick and decisive actions removed the threat of any Law Enforcement members being shot.”
Life Saving Award
Deputies Cody Cox and Tyler Naudet were awarded the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Award for their commendable actions in sustaining the life of a victim and providing needed life support on scene.
The deputies were dispatched on a suicidal man armed with a hand gun. While in route it was learned the subject had shot himself. When they arrived they located the man lying face down in the driveway with blood coming from his head. After securing the hand gun, Naudet ran back to his squad car and retrieved his tactical medical kit. He then applied combat gauze to the victims head in an attempt to slow the bleeding.
The man started aspirating while attempting to breath and an airway tube was placed in his nostril, which greatly assisted in his efforts to continue to breath. While waiting for EMS to arrive, his pulse grew stronger due to the quick trauma actions from both deputies.
Once inside the ambulance a better observation of the man’s wound showed that the point of entry from the single gunshot wound would have been nearly impossible to have been self-inflected. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died.
Quick actions in securing the scene and interviews from those at the scene, led to the fact the subject was actually a victim and had been shot by the person who had called indicating he had shot himself.
With their immediate skill set actions, securing the scene, recovery of the weapon and subsequent interviews, a suspect was identified and charged with Murder in the 2nd Degree along with Armed Criminal actions.
Letter of Commendation
Deputy Kreig Jarnigan was honored with the Sheriff’s Office Letter of Commendation for his life saving efforts on April 24.
Deputy Jarnigan responded to a call that a man had collapsed at the corner of 13th Street and Locust. He recognized that the man was not breathing and began CPR. He continued chest compressions until EMS arrived and took over. Before leaving the scene in an ambulance the man was breathing on his own.
Later that morning, Jarnigan was contacted by the Kansas City Fire Department and told that the man, James West, had suffered a massive heart attack and that the early implementation of chest compressions probably saved his life. KCFD said that he was doing much better and that he would very likely walk away from the incident.
Sadly, Mr. West needed a medical specialist that was not on staff at Truman Medical Center West, he suffered a second heart attack and died before he could be transferred to another medical facility.
KCFD Medic Ryan Koehler, who was present at the call, said that Jarnigan’s actions would have saved the life of West. He also said that Jarnigan’s CPR techniques were perfect and gave the man the best shot he had at surviving the incident.
Sheriff’s Captain Scott Goodman recommended Deputy Jernigan receive the honor and that he be presented this award during a Legislative Meeting, “So that, Deputy Jarnigan’s display of un-hesitating heroism and caring for the community can be recognized by the leadership of Jackson County, Missouri.”