Thursday, August 25, 2011

Officer honored for stopping man who tried to kill his mother

To say Officer Toby Sicks is a good shot would be an understatement. He is such a good shot that he was able to save an innocent woman's life when her son was threatening to kill her, and today I presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts.

On Feb. 28, 2010, officers from the Tactical Response Team were planning to arrest a man for robbery in a carjacking. Members of the team were setting up the area as another officer conducted surveillance in plain clothes from an undercover vehicle. Not long after starting surveillance, the suspect left his home and walked in the under-cover officer's direction, not knowing he was a police officer. The suspect reached into his pants to retrieve what looked to be a weapon. The under-cover officer believed he was going to be the victim of a carjacking and called in the tactical unit. As the suspect saw the tactical team approaching, he ran into his house and began arguing with a woman. Shortly after, the woman, identified as his mother, attempted to run out of the house but was restrained by the suspect.

Knowing that there was a victim in danger, Officer Toby Sicks acted as team leader and directed members of the tactical team into their positions. The suspect refused to leave the residence, and the argument with his mother escalated. The suspect attempted to flee out of the back door and realized he was surrounded by officers. He retreated into the house and moments later re-emerged with his mother, holding a knife to her throat. Officer Sicks, a police sniper, saw that he was the only one in the correct position to disarm the suspect and save the woman’s life. Police asked the suspect multiple times to drop his weapon, but he ignored the officers' direction. With little room to fail, Officer Sicks discharged his weapon, fatally wounding the suspect and saving the mother’s life.

No police officer ever wants to kill another human being, but sometimes they must make the split-second decision to do so in order to save the innocent. That's what Officer Sicks did, and he did it with precision. An inch or two one way or the other, and the mother could have been harmed instead. It was a pleasure to present him the Distinguished Service Medal.

Send comments to