ATF explains award to 'Fast and Furious' agent

ATF agent who was killed, Brian Terry

On the CBS Early Show this morning, we told you that ATF had just given a national award to the Phoenix ATF agent in charge of the controversial Fast and Furious case.

In a Congressional hearing, other agents said case agent Hope MacAllister ignored repeated warnings that a federal agent could get killed as a result of the strategy allowing thousands of assault rifles to be sold to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels.

Project Gunrunner scandal uncovered at ATF

Today, ATF explained why MacAllister has been singled out for ATF's national "Lifesaving Award": in a separate case, she helped aid a wounded suspect so that he could be transported to the emergency room.

Agent: I was ordered to let guns into Mexico

According to ATF: "The Medal of Valor recognizes ATF employees for acts of exceptional valor or bravery that demonstrate personal courage performed freely and knowingly with the possibility of great risk to personal safety and life, while confronting a know(n) suspected criminal adversary, during a threat to public safety, or resulting in the saving of lives or prevention of serious injury.... Hope MacAllister, and another special agent/medic, will receive the ATF Lifesaving Award for aid rendered to a suspect shot during the take down phase of a robbery investigation in June 2009. They were part of an ATF Special Response Team and performed triage and lifesaving interventions, so the wounded man could be transported to the closest hospital emergency center."

  • Sharyl Attkisson
    Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.