Lacox Recognized for Courage in College Station Shooting
Knight Commander Darren S. Kay presented Travis Burton Lacox (Gamma Tau–Sam Houston State ’00) with the Knight Commander’s Medal on February 25th, 2017 at the Crescent Club in downtown Dallas, Texas following the Bishop Henry J. Mikell Province and the William Archibald Walsh Province Courts of Honor induction ceremony. Lacox was recognized for his courage and character during the shooting in College Station, Texas.
The Knight Commander’s Medal was established in 2007 by the Executive Council, at the request of Former Knight Commander J. Michael Duncan, to recognize brothers who demonstrate “Courage” and “Character” in the face of “Adversity.” Lacox is the seventh brother to receive this high honor.
Below is a video of the ceremony where U.S. Senator Ted Cruz presented the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery to Brother Lacox.
On August 13, 2012, Travis Burton Lacox, a 2000 initiate from the Gamma Tau Chapter at Sam Houston State University, along with Andrew Murph, investigators of the College Station Police Department, responded to a call for a shooting where two officers were reported to be “down” and one did not appear to be moving. Additional reports indicated that there were two civilian casualties and that other officers on the scene were pinned down by gunfire.
Upon arriving, Investigators Lacox and Murph could hear active gunfire continuing and their fellow officers’ pleas for help. They were also aware that the suspect was firing a high-powered rifle. They armed themselves, donned body armor, and headed toward the sound of the gunfire.
Investigators Lacox and Murph opened a gate to a fence and found themselves in direct line of fire to the suspect’s closed front door. Moments later, the suspect opened the the front door with his rifle in hand and raised it toward an officer who was pinned behind a vehicle and who had already been fired at multiple times.
From approximately 73 yards away and with no cover to protect them from the suspect’s shots, Investigators Lacox and Murph fired at the suspect, striking him and forcing him back into his home. As the suspect lay injured, the investigators made the decision to secure him to ensure the area was safe. Their only option was to approach by crossing the street and moving directly toward him. When they were approximately 42 yards away, the suspect reached for his weapon, and Investigators Lacox and Murph responded by firing on him again as they continued their approach. Continually giving commands to not move, Investigators Murph and Lacox secured the suspect who ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
They then turned their focus to calling in EMTs to treat the injured, checking on the officers who has been pinned down by gunfire, and performing CPR on Constable Brian Bachmann who lay mortally wounded in the front yard. Their quick response allowed emergency responders to gain access that proved critical to saving the life of one of the civilian victims. The 25-minute gun battle that would claim three lives and injure several more.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz presented the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery to Lacox and Murph for their heroic actions, the first Texans to receive that high honor. They also received the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Valor.
In the weeks following, Lacox and Murph assisted in developing an innovative training program. The Active Shooter Debrief combining things like dash cam video, 911 calls, and computer animation to ensure their department and others could learn from the tragedy. Thousands of officers from various agencies in Texas and beyond have listened to the presentation.
“Through all this, I don’t want it to be covered up that innocents lost their lives,” Lacox said. “It was a really tragic day in our community that we hopefully don’t have to go through again. It’s fortunate … that we get very good training for when things like this happen.”