A Hudson Valley police officer has been named the state's top cop by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Orange County's Middletown Police Officer Evan Barone received the state's Police Officer Medal of Valor for demonstrating exceptional courage and bravery in service to his community during a special ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
Barone was on routine patrol when he was flagged down by a woman whose ex-boyfriend refused to leave her home. Seconds after stopping to help, Barone was shot and despite being seriously wounded, he fired back, struck his assailant, and protected the woman, several children, and other adults, Hochul said.
He is the first officer from the Middletown Police Department to be recognized with the award, also known as the Governor's Police Officer of the Year Award.
"Despite being seriously wounded, Officer Barone demonstrated exceptional bravery by putting himself in harm's way to keep New Yorkers safe," Hochul said. "His quick thinking and swift action prevented anyone else from being harmed by the gunman. We honor him for his courage and service."
Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado presented the award to Barone Hochul's behalf during a ceremony at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown.
"For demonstrating exceptional courage and unflappable bravery in the face of grave danger, Officer Barone is well deserving of this award, and I thank him and his fellow officers from the Middletown Police Department for their service to this community," Delgado said.
During the incident which took place on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, Barone was on routine patrol as part of the department's Neighborhood Enhancement Unit, when he was flagged down by a woman outside of her home. He stopped and spoke with her.
The woman told Barone that her ex-boyfriend was inside her home, armed with a gun, and refused to leave. As the woman talked with Barone, her ex-boyfriend burst through the front door of the home and onto the porch, firing a 9mm handgun. A bullet struck the officer's left forearm and lodged in his body armor.
Despite being seriously injured, Barone returned fire and hit his assailant multiple times. He then secured custody of the gunman, protecting the woman with whom he was speaking and several children and adults nearby.
He then radioed for help, applied a tourniquet to his own wound to control the bleeding, and waited for medical assistance.
Barone, who is 28 years old, recently marked his fifth year of service with the Middletown Police Department.
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