Five Grant County law enforcement officers are receiving Washington's highest honor for bravery in the line of duty.

Four members of the Moses Lake Police Department (MLPD) and one from the Grant County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) are being awarded the Washington State Medal of Honor for Exceptionally Meritorious Conduct in recognition of their actions during an incident involving an active shooter at the Gorge Campground on June 17, 2023.

"We're very fortunate at the Moses Lake Police Department because we have such amazing folks that work here," says MLPD Chief Dave Sands. "Having an opportunity like this to celebrate the amazing things that they do and do every day is very special. But when you have an incident like this, having personally reviewed videos of it and seeing what they did and how it all happened, it brings goose bumps to you."

The five officers who will receive the award are GCSO Detective Korey Judkins and MLPD Detective Edgar Salazar, Detective Sergeant Kyle McCain, Detective Corporal Omar Ramirez, and Officer Curt Ledeboer.

Sands says he personally nominated three of his officers for the award.

"The corporal who is also receiving the award who was there that day put in one of our officers for the award, and I put in for the remaining officers to receive the award. The nominations go to a committee and they then review the information and make a determination on who should receive it."

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All five of the officers who are receiving the award were working in an undercover capacity when the shooting occurred and had no ballistic vests or other protective equipment, and were not armed with their police-issued hand guns, only with small secondary pistols.

Despite the disadvantages, the officers closed a distance of 150 yards on the shooter on grassy terrain with no cover, while the suspect continued to fire in their direction.

At a distance of approximately 65 yards, Det. Salazar fired his pistol once and struck the suspect, incapacitating him and allowing the other officers to move in and apprehend the suspect, as well as render aid to a female victim who'd been shot twice by the suspect.

Sands says there's a lot more he'd like to say about the actions of his officers on the day of the shooting but he is unable to comment on them at this time due to the ongoing nature of the investigation into the incident.

The five officers will be presented with their medals and honored at a ceremony on May 3 in Olympia.

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Gallery Credit: Credit: Mateo, 103.5 KISS FM

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