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Forsyth Lieutenant Receives Medal of Honor

He earned the award due to his experience and self-control during a dangerous incident earlier this summer.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office recently presented one of its own with the highest award given by the agency, the Medal of Honor.

Lt. Tommy Hunter, a Watch Commander at the North Precinct’s Uniform Patrol Division, received the distinguished honor in a ceremony on Nov. 5.

He earned the award due to his experience and self-control during a dangerous incident earlier this summer.

On Aug. 27, deputies were dispatched to a residence to investigate a complaint of a distraught 82-year-old woman who locked herself in a bathroom with a gun.

The FCSO reports, the woman threatened to shoot the deputies and said that the only way they could talk to her was “through her gun.”

Lt. Hunter became aware of the incident and immediately responded to the scene taking the lead role in communicating and negotiating with the woman. After exhausting all of his efforts (about an hour and 45 minutes later), Lt. Hunter summoned two negotiators and two SWAT team personnel with shields to the scene. When the woman learned of this new development, she agreed to open the bathroom door so that Lt. Hunter could see that she was okay.

When the door opened, the woman was standing less than four feet away pointing a gun directly at Lt. Hunter. While keeping a calm composure, he immediately began talking with the woman and managed to distract her attention to a set of car keys that were on the counter next to the sink.

As she turned her head to look at the keys, Lt. Hunter quickly reached forward and removed the handgun from her grasp. He quickly turned the gun upward, opened the cylinder and removed the bullets.

“Lt. Hunter chose to place himself in harm’s way so a peaceful outcome could be reached,” said Sheriff Ted Paxton. “Due to Lt. Hunter’s quick and diligent actions, only minimal force had to be used and no one was harmed, including the person pointing the gun at Lt. Hunter.”

In addition to the medal, Lt. Hunter received a ribbon, an award bar, and a letter citing the circumstances leading to the award.

Lt. Hunter has been employed with sheriff's office since January 1994.

The Medal of Honor is awarded based on extraordinary actions that expose the employee to self-peril above and beyond the call of duty, who, knowing the consequences of the act and disregarding his/her own safety, acted in the best interest of the community.

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