Gun Pointed at Officer Shot from Suspect’s Hand

Captain John P. Gardner, Travelers Rest Police Department. ~ photo courtesy Travelers Rest Police Depart.Only in the early Western movies featured on Saturdays in small town theaters did the heroes shoot the pistols from the hands of the outlaws. That is only until recently when Capt. John Gardner of the Travelers Rest Police Department observed a man who had been threatening suicide for more than an hour point a handgun at one of Travelers Rest’s Finest. Surprise! Surprise! One shot by Capt. Gardner who entered a door on the flank of the suspect and the handgun was on the floor and the hand that held the gun had only a small scratch.

The Medal of Valor, the first awarded by Chief Lance Crowe, was for Captain John Gardner’s actions on October 31/November 1, 2009 when officers responded to a man threatening suicide with a pistol. Officers spoke with the suspect for over an hour as the suspect held a gun to his head. The suspect repeatedly waved the gun around and pointed it directly at the officers, refusing repeated commands to put it down.

Captain Gardner made the decision to shoot the gun from the suspect’s hand as he extended it and pointed it at another officer. The suspect’s pistol was disabled by the shot and the suspect was taken into custody, receiving only a small laceration on his hand.

“Captain Gardner’s decisive action and superior firearms skills resulted in a peaceful resolution to this volatile situation for everyone involved and serves as an inspiration for us all,”  said Travelers Rest Police  Chief Lance Crowe.

Capt. Gardner is a dedicated police officer quietly serving Greenville County citizens with honor, seeking no recognition for himself. He has earned our respect and congratulations.

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Mike Scruggs