RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Two detectives from the Riverside Police Department both received a Medal of Valor Friday for their bravery during a shootout in February that helped bring the Christopher Dorner saga to an end.
On Feb. 12, Detectives Jim Simons and Michael Medici were in Big Bear to help track down the 33-year-old rogue ex-cop who had murdered family members of a Los Angeles Police Department officer and ambushed and killed a Riverside police officer.
Cornered in a cabin and well-armed, Dorner fired round after round, slaying a deputy. Simons, a former sniper, grabbed his rifle and took cover behind a tree.
When other officers started to run low on ammo, and as bullets flew around him, Simons went to his car to get more.
“It’s what we signed up (for) becoming police officers. This individual was responsible for killing one of our officers and seriously injuring another one of our officers. We didn’t think about it. It’s just what we do,” said Simons.
At his side was Medici, giving Simons cover. Medici said he knew he might be killed, but felt stopping Dorner was more important.
“There was no turning back; it was an easy decision,” he said.
Neither man ever thought they’d be honored for their actions.
“It’s very humbling. It’s a great honor, but obviously there are people that we work with that I feel deserve the same kind of thing,” said Medici.
The detectives’ names now grace the police department’s Wall of Valor. A plaque reads, “Courage above all is the first quality of a warrior.”
“They’re not blowhards, they’re not braggers. They’re brave men who do what they do out of a sense of duty,” said Chief Sergio Diaz.