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March 28, 2014

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers recognized during annual awards ceremony

NORMAN — Three troopers were awarded Trooper of the Year Awards during the Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s 46th annual awards ceremony Thursday at Embassy Suites.

Troopers Bobby Raines, Sean Mass and Tommy Allen were recognized as Trooper of the Year in three categories: heroism, humanitarianism and valor.

Allen received the valor award after a pursuit and officer-involved shooting Feb. 27, 2013. Allen had been notified of a stolen vehicle, spotted the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop near State Highway 1 and State Highway 3, Trooper George Brown said, telling the story of the incident.

The suspect turned onto the Indian Nations Turnpike, where Allen attempted to perform a tactical vehicle intervention to stop the suspect and the pursuit. The suspect regained control of the vehicle and continued to a parking lot just off the turnpike.

Another trooper assisting with the pursuit, Tommy Richardson, noticed Allen driving across a grassy area to box in the suspect. The fleeing vehicle accelerated and struck Allen’s patrol car.

Fearing for his partner’s safety, as well the safety of all residents in the parking area and the restaurant, Allen initiated a second tactical vehicle intervention to end the pursuit, Brown said.

“During the spinning maneuver, Trooper Allen observed the suspect open his driver’s door and bring a long rifle up into his hands and swing it around in the direction of Trooper Richardson and himself,” Brown said. “Trooper Allen saw imminent danger to his partner, nearby citizens and himself and, in a split-second decision, drew his duty pistol and fired through the windshield of his own patrol vehicle, tracking the suspect until he dropped the rifle.”

Once the threat was eliminated, Allen exited his patrol car and administered first aid to the injured suspect until ambulance personnel arrived.

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