Four Lafayette police officers who were the first to arrive at the Grand 16 Theatre shooting, entering the uncertain scene after a gunman opened fire during a film showing, were honored Tuesday by Lafayette Consolidated Government.
Sgt. Jace Quebedeaux, Cpl. Colin Richard, Cpl. Mike Milazzo and Officer Derrick Miles — a trainee — ran toward the location of gunfire as victims and bystanders fled amid reports the gunman had begun reloading his weapon.
“That goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux told the officers during a special recognition at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The first officer arrived on scene within 12 seconds of the 7:28 p.m. dispatch call, according to the final investigative report released in January. Within three minutes and 41 seconds, the officers had secured the area.
The Alabama gunman, 59-year-old John Houser, had killed himself by the time officers entered the theater. Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33, died in the shooting, and nine more people were injured.
Robideaux presented the four officers with a certificate of appreciation as they received a standing ovation from the audience, which had packed the council auditorium.
Robideaux expressed his gratitude toward the officers — who make up only handful of the more than 100 first responders who arrived on the scene within an hour — who “are willing to do what to many of us, quite frankly, are not willing to do.”
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