WATCH: Trump Presents Six Dayton, Ohio, Police Officers With Medal of Valor for Stopping Mass Shooter; Awards Five El Paso Civilians With Certificates of Commendation for Bravely Helping Others During Mass Shooting

Eleven police officers and civilians were honored at the White House on Monday for their courage during mass shootings in Ohio and Texas.
Credit: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

It took just 20 seconds for police officers in Dayton, Ohio, to begin firing at a gunman one morning last month, taking him down after he killed nine people and wounded 27 others in the city’s entertainment district.

On Monday, President Trump presented six of the city’s officers with the medal of valor, the highest honor for law enforcement officers. In a ceremony at the White House, Mr. Trump said that the officers rushed toward certain danger in an effort to protect the city’s residents.

The president also awarded certificates of commendation to five people from El Paso who risked their lives to help others during a separate mass shooting at a Walmart store there a day earlier.

Together, Mr. Trump said, the recipients “responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage, character and strength.

“Faced with grave and harrowing threats, the men and women standing behind us stepped forward to save the lives of their fellow Americans,” he said. “Few people could have done, and even would have done, what they did.”

Mr. Trump did not comment on the debate over gun control that erupted again after the two mass shootings, saying only that the El Paso attack was a “racist attack motivated by pure evil” and that the Dayton shooting was committed by “a vile, wicked murderer.”

The massacre in Dayton began in the early hours of Aug. 4, when a gunman carrying an AR-15-style rifle and dressed in body armor started shooting. Police said the assailant, identified as Connor Betts, 24, struck more than two dozen people in 32 seconds.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Michael D. Shear