Three Lynchburg Officers awarded for valor in New Year’s Eve shooting

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 4:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Three Lynchburg Police Officers have been awarded by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation (VACP) for their actions in the New Year’s Eve shooting.

Officers J. Massie, R. Shelton, and M. Donellan will receive the award on Tuesday at the Valor Awards Banquet in Norfolk

According to the Lynchburg Police Department, an officer witnessed a car that nearly struck two pedestrians on Main Street on December 31, 2022, at 11:19 p.m.

The driver fled the scene, initiating a pursuit that led to the crash of the suspect’s car on Memorial Avenue.

Police say the suspect shot at the officers and police then returned fire using their department-issued handguns. No officers or bystanders were injured.

According to the Department, the officers’ quick thinking and actions protected the community.

The VACP says the most prestigious recognition is the Award for Valor, which is given to an officer who performs an act of extraordinary heroism while on duty in a dangerous situation.

“This incident is a graphic reminder of the incredibly dangerous job the men and women of the Lynchburg Police Department perform in our community every day,” said Ryan Zuidema, Lynchburg Police Department Chief.

“I am incredibly proud of these dedicated police officers who have demonstrated exceptional bravery and selflessness in the face of danger,” said Mayor Stephanie T. Reed.

“They have gone above and beyond the call of duty, putting their lives on the line to protect our community. Their courage serves as an inspiration to us all, and we are grateful for their service to our city,” Reed added.