CHANDLER, Oklahoma -- Retired Tulsa police officer Steve Downie was one of the six people being inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Downie retired about five years ago after serving 27 years on the force. He received the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart after being shot in the line of duty in an ambush by a robbery suspect who also killed Officer Dick Hobson.
He says that experience was the loss of his innocence.
"I was grateful to be 38 and felt like a kid. But, I didn't feel like a kid after that anymore," Downie said.
Downie worked another 10 years after the shooting. The induction ceremony was this Sunday in Chandler.
Downie spent his career as a hard working street cop, the first line of defense between citizens and criminals.
He served in several capacities, including the Special Operations Team, Mounted Patrol and K-9. It was in his role as a K-9 officer that he and fellow K-9 Officer Dick Hobson were called to search a dark alley in downtown Tulsa, for a man suspected of just robbing a nearby Whataburger.
Just a few steps into the alley and the suspect opened fire with a shotgun. Downie's leg was blown out from underneath him, yet he still returned fire, just as Officer Hobson did, after being hit in the chest and side.
Hobson and the suspect were killed. Downie survived, but spent months recovering from his injuries and even longer, getting over the loss of a fellow officer.
"I never thought of that, losing a friend. I thought of me getting shot, but, not it happening to somebody else, let alone somebody like him," Downie said.
Downie returned to work, but, not to ride out his time.
Within a couple of years, he led the department in the number of warrants served, 500. He still has nearly 200 shotgun pellets and is extremely grateful for the men who saved his life in that alley and for those who helped him afterward.
"Couldn't have done it without the support, period," Downie said.
Dozens of people wrote letters recommending Downie be inducted to the Hall of Fame, praising his courage, tenacity and street cop mentality.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, who served with Downie at Tulsa Police Department, headed up the effort and was at the ceremony Sunday when Downie is inducted.
"Being a cop isn't what Steve did, it's who he is," Walton said.