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Our very own Richton Park Police Officer Dahlberg was recently honored by the Park Forest Police Department. He, along with several Park Forest Police Officers were awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor for their efforts to stop a dangerous subject with a weapon last August.
On August 13, 2018, Park Forest Police Officers responded to a report of a victim who had been shot. While officers were en-route, it was reported that the suspect had fled the area. Officers who responded directly to the victim found that he had in fact been shot in the head with a handgun. Richton Park Police also responded to the area.
Park Forest Support Services Sgt. Julius Moore, not assigned to the Patrol Division, responded and located the subject walking on a sidewalk in Richton Park near the border of Park Forest. The suspect refused to stop, identify himself, or follow any directions given by Sgt. Moore. By this time, Richton Park Officer Dahlberg had arrived on the scene to assist.
As the suspect began to move away from Sgt. Moore, Officer Habecker arrived and pulled his squad car into the suspect’s path to stop him. The suspect, only feet away from Sgt. Moore, brandished a handgun, and pointed it directly at Sgt. Moore, pulling the trigger. Sgt. Moore immediately drew his duty firearm and returned fire. The suspect then ran, gun in hand, looking back toward the officers. Sgt. Moore chased, as did Officer Habecker, Officer Dahlberg, and Officer Karl, who now had been on scene.
The suspect ran through an alleyway, where he continued to aim his handgun at Officers. As Sgt. Moore came to a fence that the suspect apparently climbed over, he and Officer Dahlberg observed the suspect crouched down near bushes in an attempt to ambush the Officers. All four Officers then fired at the suspect. The suspect dropped his firearm, but retrieved it and again attempted to shoot the Officers. The suspect was struck by the Officers’ fire and collapsed.
Commander Elliot, who saw the suspect down, radioed the information, rushed to the area, called for paramedics, and immediately took complete control of the scene to ensure that all Officers were safe and that no bystanders had been injured.
All involved Officers rushed to the suspect and immediately tried to save the life of the individual who had just attempted to shoot them repeatedly. Pressure was applied to his wounds, and CPR was administered immediately. The suspect did not survive.
All Officers should be commended for their bravery in this incident. All Officers rushed toward an armed suspect who had just shot a victim. Officers protected the public from this dangerous individual, despite putting themselves in mortal danger. Even after a suspect had attempted to shoot them, the involved Officers continued to give chase to apprehend him and prevent him from running loose within the community.
Once the suspect had been brought down, the Officers immediately began lifesaving efforts until Emergency Medical personnel arrived. Critical incidents such as this are life-altering, and all involved Officers showed their bravery, professionalism, and willingness to sacrifice their safety for members of the Park Forest and Richton Park communities.
We thank Officer Dahlberg for his service and the great courage he showed during the incident.