Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder was honored at the White House Tuesday afternoon for his work in stopping an active shooter at Excel Industries on Feb. 25, 2016.
When Schroeder received word that there was a man shooting people at the Excel plant across town, he took action. Not knowing anymore information, Schroeder entered the plant alone and minutes later shot and killed the gunman, identified as Excel employee Cedric Ford.
Before Schroeder intervened, Ford had killed three people and wounded 14 others. He was going after another employee when Schroeder shot him.
Eleven other officers from across the country were also awarded the Medal of Valor.
Speaking about Schroeder specifically, President Trump said, “You saved a lot of lives. Thank God you were there.”
“You’ve earned an eternal place in the gratitude in our history and our hearts,” Trump told the officers. “America’s greatest treasure is her people. In your courage we see America’s strength.”
Before the medals were awarded, Trump spoke about the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Seventeen people were killed when a gunman opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.
“We’re working very hard to make sense of these events,” he said, adding that he’s moved by the strength and resistance shown by the survivors and community.
Many have spoken up for gun control, and have organized nationwide school walkouts to protest gun violence. The goal is for students and staff to walk out of their classrooms on March 14 at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes – one minute for each of the fatalities.
“We must do more to protect our children,” Trump said. “We have to do more to protect our children. School safety is a top priority for my administration.”
He said that’s why when he and state governors meet next, they’ll discuss the implementation of “common sense security measures” and mental health issues.
Trump also talked about the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre in which 58 people were killed and 851 injured when a man shot at a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Just before the Medal of Valor ceremony, Trump said he directed U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions to promote regulations to ban “all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns” – such as the bump stock used in the Las Vegas shooting.
“I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon,” he said.