U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions honored Tulsa Police Sergeant Mike Parsons Thursday, who was shot in the line of duty July 3rd at the QuikTrip at I-44 and Harvard.
"He is willing to put himself in harm's way to protect the citizens of Tulsa as well as the men and women of the Tulsa PD. So, Sergeant Parsons, it is my honor to present to you today on behalf of the AG and the US Dept. of Justice this letter of recognition," said Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Oklahoma.
Parsons was caught off guard Thursday by all the attention and was visibly emotional. This national honor came nearly 3-months after the shooting. Dramatic body cam video shows the event.
Officers noticed a van with a tag that didn't match. The shooter, John Chatman, refused to get out. When officers shot pepper balls inside the van he pulled out a gun and started shooting. Parsons was hit in the leg; the first time he's ever been shot.
And would you believe, an appreciation coin in his pants pocket lessened the blow. Thursday afternoon he was recognized for his bravery.
"It deflected off of that and just went through the meat of his leg basically this is kind of movie stuff. Like coming off your badge or something," said Police Chief Chuck Jordan.
Parsons is now back to work, forever changed by what happened.
"My second day back I had a confrontation with someone with a firearm. It was a little too soon," said Parsons.
Parsons says his recovery has been going well although he still has quite a bit of pain in his leg. He says emotionally he's doing great crediting that to his colleagues and his family.
The suspect was shot in the chest, sent to the hospital, and later booked into jail. The most serious charge he's facing is shooting with intent to kill.