CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Three officers received awards for their brave response after Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zack Parrish was shot in an ambush-style attack on New Year's Eve.
When officers responded the morning of December 31, 2017, they knew a deputy was down and a man was still shooting. Members of the Douglas County Regional SWAT team coordinated a tactical operation to attempt to rescue the officer and make contact with the shooter.
Officers Matt McNairy, Daniel Moffitt and Thomas O'Donnell put themselves in harm's way that New Year's Eve morning. Nearly six months later they were honored during a ceremony for the Castle Rock Police Department.
"I’m extremely proud of them," said Jack Cauley, the Castle Rock Police Chief. "We are blessed to have officers like that; deputies that are skilled, that are courageous that are running toward the gunfire."
Deputy Parrish's widow, Gracie, was at the event to show her support for the officers.
"Well, I really just wanted to be here because these are the brothers and sisters of Zack and, in turn, they’ve become my family too, so I just really wanted to support them and honor what they’ve done," said Gracie Parrish.
Officer Matt McNairy received the S.T.A.R. Award for his exceptional tactics to resolve a critical incident. He was able to maneuver an armored vehicle into position to provide protection for law enforcement at the scene.
Officer Daniel Moffitt received the Medal of Valor for his heroic response. He was part of the team that pulled Deputy Parrish out of the apartment while being shot at.
Officer Thomas O'Donnell received the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart for his courage that day. He was hit by shrapnel but did not leave his fellow officers during the tactical operation.