New York– An Indian-origin New York Police Department (NYPD) officer and nine others were honoured by President Joe Biden with the Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest award for bravery by a public safety officer.
Sumit Sulan was honoured at a White House ceremony last week for shooting a gunman who ambushed and killed officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora as they responded to a domestic violence call in Harlem, New York City, on January 21, 2022.
“A very dark day for the city of New York could have been more — even more tragic, with a much higher body count, if it weren’t for Detective Sulan,” President Biden said at the Medal of Valor Ceremony.
According to a White House statement, the three officers put themselves in the line of fire to protect a mother and son from an armed man threatening violence in their home.
Officers Rivera and Mora, who were awarded posthumously, positioned themselves between the assailant and the other occupants of the house after getting a 911 call.
They were ambushed, shot multiple times, and died from their injuries.
Detective Sulan, then still a rookie, ensured the safety of the civilians on the scene and struck down the gunman with his service weapon, bringing an end to the deadly episode just 45 seconds after it had begun.
“That terrible day, when the bullets started flying, Detective Sulan had only been then — with the precinct — the 32nd Precinct for two months. Two months. But he jumped into action. He shielded the mother and brother from gunfire, then drew his weapon to fire twice, hitting the gunman and ending the incident,” Biden said.
“And the entire nation is grateful for the quick thinking, swift action, and courage under fire that he demonstrated,” the President, who met Sulan shortly after the incident, added.
Sulan, who was promoted as a Detective after the incident, was dubbed as “super rookie” for his act of heroism.
Two days after the ambush, Sulan’s mother told The New York Post that her son was still struggling to deal with what happened.
“His brain is stuck on the situation,” Sulan’s mother, who emigrated from India about 15 years ago, said. (IANS)