Catoosa Officer Awarded Medal Of Valor For Saving Man's Life
CATOOSA, Oklahoma - A Catoosa Police officer was awarded the prestigious Medal Of Valor by the Interim Police Chief for his heroic and brave actions that helped saved a suicidal man's life.
Master Patrol Officer Colbey Webster is now the only Catoosa police officer in the department's history with two Medal Of Valor awards. He said mental health is one of the most overlooked areas of law enforcement, but it's also one of the most important.
"He was sitting against the garage on his bottom with his legs pointed toward us. He had a shotgun in his hand - in his mouth - and his right hand was on the trigger," said Master Patrol Officer Colbey Webster of the Catoosa Police Department.
First Webster and two other officers helped the man's wife and young daughter to safety. Webster said he crouched behind a car in the driveway and started talking to the man.
“Told him who I was; told him to hang on a minutes just talk to us," said Master Patrol Officer Colbey Webster of the Catoosa Police Department.
He said the man kept taking his finger off the trigger to wipe away tears and talk but then kept putting his finger back. Then Webster saw his opportunity.
"I was able to grab the shotgun barrel, kind of dove on it; forced it to the ground and away from the other officers and him," Webster said.
Webster put himself between the shotgun and the man and unloaded it as other officers tackled the man.
"He's not a bad guy; he's just in a few volatile emotional state," said Master Patrol Officer Colbey Webster, Catoosa Police.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 47,000 Americans died by suicide last year. That statistic hits home for Webster as well. A report from the Ruderman Family Foundation says in 2017 there were more police officer suicides than line of duty deaths.
"I know with all the officers here, it's something that we take very seriously," Webster said.
And although Webster was awarded the Medal Of Valor, he said it was a team effort.
"If he can take his experience and pull through something like that - I mean how many people can he help just through dealing with the same situation that we did," MPO Colbey Webster said.
If you or someone you know needs help call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.