For the first time ever, Missouri’s Medal of Valor has been awarded posthumously.
During a ceremony today at the State Capitol, Missouri's highest public safety honor was given to the late Daryl Hall of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He was fatally shot on April 24th, 2011, while off-duty as he responded to gunfire outside a downtown nightclub. Hall returned fire and also fatally shot the gunman. Joseph Love, Hall’s uncle, says he’s not surprised that his nephew put himself in harm’s way to protect others.
“When you’re committed to something, that’s what was expected of him to do," Love said. "I really appreciate that they went above and beyond and they really treated my family real well, giving him this award.”
Love accepted the Medal of Valor on his nephew’s behalf.
“It means a lot to me, because it shows a sign of good upbringing and good family parenting," Love said. "It trickles down from him being a young kid up to being a grown man making decisions.”
Seven other public safety officers and personnel also received the Medal of Valor today. They are:
- Joseph Heath, St. John's Ambulance Service, and Jeffrey Elliot, Springfield Fire Department: Heath and Elliot both rescued children from a burning home in Springfield on Jan. 15th, 2011.
- Thomas Bacon, Jr., Pattonville Fire Protection District: On April 22nd, 2011, during an F4 tornado, Bacon rescued a family of five from their car, which had been blown onto the fire station's ramp. He carried one child and guided the rest inside to the fire station's designated storm shelter.
- James Cooksey, Jr., Missouri State Highway Patrol: On June 21st, 2011, Cooksey and two civilians dived into a flooded bayou in New Madrid County to rescue a driver from a submerged SUV. They performed CPR on her until an ambulance arrived. Despite their efforts, the driver did not survive.
- Robert Siscel, Sunset Hills Police Department: On October 26, 2011, Siscel and another officer responded to a home invasion robbery, during which he spotted a masked gunman holding an elderly woman hostage. He alerted his fellow officer, who ordered the gunman to release her. The gunman then fled deeper into the house, where Siscel caught up to him and where the gunman aimed his pistol at Siscel from 10 feet away. He ordered the suspect to drop the gun, and when he did not, Siscel fired his weapon and incapacitated the gunman.
- Curtis Bohanan II, Jefferson City Police Dept., and Christopher Suchanek, Cole Co. Sheriff's Dept.: On December 10th, 2011, Bohanan was pursuing a murder suspect during a high-speed chase that ended in Jefferson City. After the suspect vehicle's tires were blown out by spike strips, the suspect fled on foot into the lobby of a hotel a few blocks away from the State Capitol. Bohanan pursued the gunman into the lobby and returned fire when he was fired upon. Suchanek was providing security for a private party at the hotel when he heard the shots. He responded and shot the suspect. Suchanek and Bohanan then both handcuffed the gunman.