LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Tuesday was awarded with the highest honor for bravery by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Deputy Daniel Reyes received the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery during a special ceremony at sheriff’s headquarters.
“The most rewarding for me, is the fact that Deputy Ahmed is alive today,” Deputy Reyes said.
A veteran of the department for over two decades, Reyes was patrolling with his partner, Deputy Mohamed Ahmed, on Jan. 11, 2011, in the City Terrace area, when they spotted a suspect acting suspiciously in a parked car at North Brannick Avenue, near Floral Drive.
Reyes approached the vehicle, when the suspect, identified as Nestor Torres, 37, reached for his pants pocket and the car’s center console, according to sheriff’s officials. Reyes ordered the suspect out of the car, but as he proceeded to step out, he turned and tried to flee.
Reyes was able to tackle Torres, and the men were grappling on the ground when Ahmed approached and tried to help his partner. Torres, still struggling with Reyes on the ground, produced a weapon and shot Ahmed, according to sheriff’s officials. Torres then turned toward Reyes, who managed to grab the muzzle of the gun before pushing the weapon away.
“I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to give up,” Deputy Reyes said.
Torres reportedly fired another pair of shots as Reyes twisted the muzzle away from his body.
Reyes was then able to pull out his own gun and fired two shots of his own, killing Torres.
Ahmed, who had only been on patrol for a total of about three weeks, was shot in the face and was critically injured, but survived.
The Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery was created in 2008 in order to honor “exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state and local law enforcement officers,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.