Three Santa Monica police officers have received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor for their response to a 2013 rampage on a community college campus that left five people dead.
Officers Jason Salas and Robert Sparks and Capt. Raymond Bottenfield were honored for their actions during the mass shooting at Santa Monica College.
In June 2013 the three officers confronted the 23-year-old gunman John Zawahri in the campus library and shot and killed him when he pointed his assault weapon at them.
They were among 13 law enforcement officers President Barack Obama bestowed the medal on Monday in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
Obama said police officers receiving the Medal of Valor demonstrate how loving one's country means loving one another. He said every one of the recipients acted without regard for his or her personal safety.
The president said none of the officers sought out the situations that led to the medal, but that because of their courage, the rest of society can go about living their lives freely.
Obama said the nation has a responsibility to support and listen to those who serve. He said he'll keep pushing for bipartisan legislation to make the criminal justice system smarter and fairer.
The recipients also include a Los Angeles officer who saved an unconscious man from a burning car. Below is a list of the other officers recognized:
- Los Angeles police Officer Donald Thompson for, while off duty, crossing two freeway dividers and braving first- and second-degree burns while pulling an unconscious man from a burning car to safety.
- Garland, Texas, police Officer Gregory Stevens, who exchanged gunfire with Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson in May 2015. Stevens killed both gunmen outside an exhibit hall in the Dallas suburb where the provocative cartoon contest was being held, heading off what investigators suspected was a planned mass shooting.
- Miami-Dade police Officer Mario Gutierrez, who was stabbed multiple times while subduing a knife-wielding man who tried to set off a massive gas explosion that could have caused massive casualties.
- Johnson City, New York, Patrolman Louis Cioci, who chased and captured at a crowded hospital a gunman who had just killed a fellow officer. Investigators believe Cioci saved the lives of hospital staff, patients and visitors.
- Midwest City, Oklahoma, police Maj. David Huff, who saved a 2-year-old girl after negotiations deteriorated with a man holding the child captive at knifepoint.
- Omaha, Nebraska, police Officer Coral Walker, who shot and killed a man who had killed and injured multiple people during a shooting rampage.
- Philadelphia police Sgt. Robert Wilson III, who was killed when he drew fire from assailants during an armed robbery, saving store employees and customers.
- North Miami, Florida, police Officer Niel Johnson, who endured gunfire from an assault weapon in pursuing and capturing a man who had shot a Miami police officer and two bystanders.
- FBI Special Agent Tyler Call, who while off duty with his family helped rescue a woman whose ex-husband was holding her at gunpoint.
- Niagara County, New York, sheriff's Deputy Joey Tortorella, who confronted and subdued a gunman who had shot and wounded his parents inside their home, preventing the gunman from threatening the safety of students at a nearby elementary school.
This story has been updated.