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Officer Honored For Actions During Attack At Texas Cartoon Contest

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - One of the officers hailed as a hero for his actions stopping the gunmen during a terror attack at a Muhammad Art Exhibit in North Texas was honored today.

The attack happened last year outside a controversial drawing contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

Two men went to the "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest" with guns and were set on killing multiple people. But Garland Police Officer Gregory Stevens, who was hired to provide security at the event, thwarted the attack and shot both the suspects who claimed to have ties to ISIS.

The Dallas Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) presented Officer Stevens with their award for courage – the Silver Patrick Henry Award.

President Barack Obama awarded Officer Stevens the Medal of Valor back in May. At the time the statement from the White House said the Garland policeman received the award, "For demonstrating extraordinary courage to save lives. Officer Stevens exchanged gunfire at close range and subdued two heavily-armed assailants preventing a mass shooting."

A Garland Independent School District officer was also working security at the event. The man initially thought someone was playing a prank, but quickly realized he was mistaken and ran behind a tree as shots erupted. The unarmed guard was struck in the leg but was treated and released from a local hospital.

Organizers with the MOWW say they gave Officer Stevens the award because he engaged terrorists armed with six firearms and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition with "his standard issue duty pistol without waiting for reinforcements from the SWAT and Bomb Units on site although he could have retreated and sought cover."

Captain Paul Brown, of the Dallas Chapter of the MOWW, presented Stevens with the award. The long-time officer says despite what happened that day, he's still committed to the community he serves.

"I'm a working guy. I love what I do. I've loved what I've done for 38 years now. I still look forward to going to work every morning," says Officer Stevens.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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