South Florida

President Obama Awards Medal of Valor to Two South Florida Officers

Two South Florida officers were among 13 recipients to receive the Medal of Valor in Washington, DC on Monday.

The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who exhibit "exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm."

President Barack Obama presented the medals to Officer Mario Gutierrez of Miami-Dade Police and Officer Niel Johnson of North Miami Police.

In 2013, Officer Gutierrez was stabbed before fatally shooting a suspect at a gas station at Northwest 25th Street and LeJeune Road. The suspect was trying to set fire to an undergrounde gas tank which would have likely resulted in a large explosion and mass loss of life.

Officer Johnson put an end to a violent crime spree by chasing down and arresting a man who had shot a Miami police officer as well as two innocent bystanders. The suspect was also firing at Johnson during the pursuit.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest award for valor presented to a public safety officer and is awarded by the President to public safety officer cited by the Attorney General.

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