LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. (KDKA) - The Congressional Badge of Bravery is one of the highest professional honors any police officer can receive. On Wednesday, two Fayette County officers received it.
Both officers say it's a time they'll never forget, and they made clear they were hardly the only heroes on that frighting day.
September 19, 2018, a normally busy but peaceful day, shattered when a lone gunman walked into the district justice's office in Fayette County and started shooting.
"It was like a blur. From the time I entered the hallway till the shooting, it was like a blur," said Sheriff's Deputy and Germantown Police Corporal John Lingo III.
Lingo recalled the moments he along with Masontown Police Chief Ronald Miller would engage the gunman. The shooter was angry over a PFA filed against him. Lingo and Miller stopped the rampage by engaging the assailant, killing him before he could wreak more havoc.
"Muscle memory, mind memory training took over. You did what you had to do," said Miller.
On Wednesday the two officers received the Congressional Badge of Bravery, Senator Pat Toomey bestowing the honor on the veteran cops.
"We're a huge country and only 18 officers got this award -- two of them from right here and they deserve it," said Toomey.
While honored, Chief Miller, who took a bullet to the hand that day, told KDKA's Ross Guidotti what he and Cpl. Lingo did wasn't about heroism as much as it was about duty.
"You could give the award to all the officers who showed up that day," said Lingo.
"The staff of the judge, the judge himself, the attornies that were there -- they all did something. We were just the first two to reach the person," said Miller.
Finally, both officers say while they did what they had to do, each made clear the last thing any cop wants to do is pull his or her service weapon out and use it. And they hope they never have to do it again.
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