Waterloo Police Officer Justin Brandt awarded Medal of Valor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Police Officer Justin Brandt awarded Medal of Valor

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Waterloo's Director of Safety Services Dan Trelka is awarding the prestigious Medal of Valor to Officer Justin Brandt for his actions in a July 22nd shooting.

This is only the fourth Medal of Valor bestowed on a Waterloo police officer in two decades. In this case, Trelka said Brandt went above the call of duty, responding to an intense, life-threatening situation. Within just 51 seconds from the first shot, he had a suspect in custody and secured an unruly crowd.

"It's something you can rehearse in your head time and time again, as far as what you'd do in certain situations. Bottom line is, you're going to do until you face that situation," said Brandt.

The situation began around 1:30 A.M. on July 22. Brandt was on his regular patrol in downtown Waterloo when he heard a gunshot just a few hundred feet away.

Brandt stopped his car in the intersection. In the rush of things, the car did not go fully into park and slowly drove forward into a nearby building. Meanwhile, Brandt was rushing into a potentially deadly situation -- the gunman was refusing to drop his weapon, despite Brandt's repeated orders.

According to Trelka, a third person punched the gunman in the face. The suspect dropped to the ground, but remained in a sitting position with the gun in his hand. He was still refusing to drop the pistol when Brandt kicked him in the back, knocking the gun out of the suspect's hand. Brandt was able to kick the pistol away and handcuff the gunman.

While all of this was going on, the crowd outside had become chaotic, growing hostile to the gunman now in handcuffs. Brandt then had to turn his attention to protecting the person he was arresting.

"One moment he's confronting the gunman and he's justified in using his own weapon. And the next moment he's gotta switch gears and protect the gunman from the unruly crowd that's forming," said Trelka.

Brandt picked the suspect up and sprinted with him across the street, getting him into the back of a squad car. As backup officers and paramedics arrived, Brandt was able to control the crowd, secure the crime scene, and recover the gunman's pistol.

"Anybody who would have been there would have reacted somewhat similarly. I can't say the outcome would have been the exact same. But something would have been done," said Brandt.

As Trelka explains, in less than one minute, a potentially deadly situation was averted, thanks to Brandt's courageous and selfless actions. And he said that deserves a hero's recognition.

"This is reality. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't pretty because we had a squad car roll into the building. But this is life. This is brutal reality. And it all ended well, nobody ended up dead. For us, that's a success," said Trelka.

Both the victim and the alleged shooter were taken to a hospital for their injuries. 52-year-old Roland Anderson Senior is now facing charges of willful injury, going armed with intent, and possession of a firearm as a felon. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

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