Chicago Police Officer Honored for Heroism in School Shooting
CHICAGO (AP) _ A police officer who fatally shot a gunman despite his own wounds was honored as a hero Wednesday for his courage in facing down the disturbed man, who had killed four people including the officer’s partner.
Officer Gregory Jaglowski, speaking from a wheelchair during a brief awards ceremony at Mount Sinai Hospital, said he only did what any good police officer would have done and tearfully praised his slain partner, Irma Ruiz.
″Irma Ruiz was a great woman, best friend and there’s no better partner you could ever have. Irma was always there ... she’ll never be forgotten. ... We miss you,″ Jaglowski said, his voice choked off by sobs.
Ruiz, a mother of four, was shot to death during the rampage Friday by 40- year-old Clem Henderson. Henderson killed two workers at an auto-parts store, then walked to the nearby Montefiore School, where he fatally shot the custodian and Ruiz before being felled by Jaglowski.
The officer was shot in both legs and was to undergo surgery later Wednesday to remove a bullet.
Police praised his actions, saying the bloodshed could have been much worse without his intervention.
During the ceremony, Mayor Eugene Sawyer and Police Superintendent LeRoy Martin awarded Jaglowski the Police Department’s Blue Star Award for wounds suffered in the line of duty. He also received a meritorious promotion from patrol officer to detective.
″Officer Jaglowski was wounded, but true to his training and true to his code, Officer Jaglowski went back in″ and battled heroically with the suspect, Martin said.
″Until last week, Officer Jaglowski went about his work in a relatively quiet manner, but fate intervened,″ Sawyer said. ″His record of the past 14 years shows he’s always been a hero and a great cop.″
Jaglowski and Ruiz, both police youth officers, had been called to the school to deal with an unruly youngster when they encountered Henderson.