EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSOFFICERS HONORED
from Eyewitness News Online
Men Honored For Bravery In The Line Of Fire
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: Jeremy Bias
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Jun. 23, 2012 9:46 PM EDT
Glasgow , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Three men received national honors for their bravery in the line of fire. The recognition comes after an officer was shot at point blank range in Kanahwa County just before Christmas.
On December 13, Glasgow Officer Aaron Roop and off-duty Officer Steven Smith, were responding to a burglary in progress call in Glasgow. Roop went around the back of the home and Smith, went to the front. He was not in uniform and without his vest. He announced that police were there to help but investigators say the homeowner, Nicky Smith, came outside and shot Officer Smith with a shotgun at point blank range, hitting him in the chest and arm.
Roop then pulled Officer Smith to safety behind a police cruiser.
While Roop was arresting the homeowner, a friend, William Childers, who heard the commotion, ran over and jumped into the action. Childers covered Officer Smith's body with his own.
"It was just me wanting to react to take care of my friend," Childers say.
On Saturday all three received national awards for their bravery and actions that night. Smith received two purple hearts and an accommodation for his service to the community.
"This is all for Officer Smith to me, I'm just thankful that he's still with us today," Roop says.
"Today's not just about me, its about all of us who were there that night, about all of us who have been hurt in the line of duty and who strap on the badge to go out and keep everyone safe," Officer Smith says.
Another special person also received an award, Officer Smith's wife. She not only has dressed his wounds and has helped him through physical therapy, she was involved that night as a 911 dispatcher. She's the one who took the call that a Glasgow Officer, her husband, was shot in the line of duty.
"She's the real unsung hero here," Officer Smith says. He says without her support after the shooting, he would not have been to recover as quickly as he has, even though he still has a long road ahead of him.
And this story has yet another twist, that friend who jumped in to help, has made a life changing decision. Childers is now a member of the force, recently joining the Glasgow Police Department.
"I've wanted to be an officer for many, many, many years, ever since I was a little kid," Childers says.
Childers says he's anxious to start at the police academy.
As for Officer Smith, he's still undergoing physical therapy. He hopes to one day get back to work as a police officer.
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