Award Recipient

Bryan G. Shaw

Awarded: Knight Commander’s Medal

Corporal Bryan Shaw and fellow El Centro College Police Department Officer John Abbott were working inside El Centro College when the initial gunshots rang out on the evening of July 7th, 2016.

The two immediately headed towards the gunfire without hesitation, running to the Lamar Street entrance just as the gunman opened fire on the locked doors trying to shoot his way in.

Shaw was shot on his left side and Abbot’s arms and legs were pierced with shattered glass, so they retreated. Shaw headed back inside with another officer to grab tactical gear and assault rifles. Luckily, the police chief decided to give them the key to the gun safe that evening.

Shaw heard additional gunfire coming from the Elm Street side of the building and made his way toward a stairwell where he followed a trail of blood. The gunman then opened fire on Shaw from above, but missed.

“That’s our hope, that we caused him to change where he was going and were able to save other officers,” Shaw said in an interview afterwards. “That’s what I hope that we were able to do by getting to the Lamar side entrance and him firing on us. It took his attention off of someone else.”

Shaw held his position as Dallas police moved through the building and stayed there — injured — until the ordeal was over. Despite their injuries, both Shaw and Abbott joined other officers in evacuating and rescuing more than thirty students and staff members who were stuck inside and stayed on duty until the next morning.

“God protected all of us, because if you go back to where I was in an area about 3 feet wide and he shot seven to eight times,” Shaw said. “I barely got grazed. I mean if God hadn’t been watching over me, I wouldn’t be here.”

In addition, Shaw was recognized on March 1, 2017, alongside his brother, Danny Shaw, a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper, during the 85th Texas Legislature with the passage of HR 671, a resolution authored by District 33 House Representative Justin Holland and joint-authored by District 4 House Representative Lance Gooden. In November 2016, Trooper Shaw was shot while on assignment on the Texas-Mexico border when a firefight erupted on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande.