An El Cajon police officer who sustained serious injuries during a suicidal man’s deadly rampage last year received the Medal of Valor today in Sacramento, Calif.
On Aug. 21, 2011, Officer Jarred Slocum responded to reports of a house fire with a man inside, possibly opening fire on a child and woman.
He and his partner, Tim McFarland, arrived to the home on the 1000 block of Prince Street in El Cajon to find the suspect, Kevin James Collier, 32, had already shot his 14-month-old daughter, Rhilee, inside his truck and his mother-in-law, Beverli Rakov, 51, inside the home.
Slocum and McFarland had established a perimeter and then Collier shot Slocum. The bullet pierced his left temple and came out behind his other ear, cracking his skull and severing arteries.
Collier then burned down the house and shot himself.
Slocum medically retired from the force and moved away from San Diego several weeks ago.
He’s now living in Northern California with his wife and three children.
On Thursday, the officer was awarded California’s highest public safety award for his extraordinary commitment, service and bravery in the line of duty.
Slocum’s “will to survive” during his dangerous encounter was also commended at the ceremony.
“The heroes we honor today faced incredible danger and without hesitation, put their own lives on the line to protect others,” said Governor Jerry Brown. “Their courage under fire is deeply inspiring.”
"It's not about getting. It's about giving. It's not about grabbing, but it's about sacrificing and that takes real courage. That's what a medal of valor is all about,” added Brown.
Two others were also awarded the Medal of Valor alongside Slocum, including San Francisco firefighter William Mulkeen and Riverside police officer Zachariah Fishell.
“Peace officers and firefighters enter the most noble of professions and put service above self every day,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on Thursday. “The three heroes we honor with the Medal of Valor put themselves in harm's way, acted decisively and courageously. They saved lives and we thank them for their bravery.”