WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA/CNN) — For the first time, we are hearing a detailed account from the the injured DC cop, who took out the Navy Yard shooter nine months ago.
The Washington Police Foundation named Officer Dorian DeSantis, “Officer of the Year.”
The officers who rushed in to stop the Navy Yard killer are remarkably shy.
But after four tries, we finally convinced Dorian DeSantis to talk to us about the moment he killed Aaron Alexis.
“We did encounter him in one of the cubes,” DeSantis said.
And he opened fire on you?
“Correct,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis took a round in his bullet resistant vest, returned fire and then returned to searching for a second gunman.
You didn’t realize you’d been shot?
“I’m a little slow. As long as you’re not leaking…(blood). I still had work to do,” DeSantis said.
Days later, DeSantis checked his vest again.
“Sure enough, there was a round in the plate. I was very fortunate,” DeSantis said.
That vest saved his life.
All the officers we talked to left out one detail. The first thing they saw when they rushed in was the body of murdered security officer Richard “Mike” Ridgell.
And the first thing they heard was the sound of gunfire echoing through the open atrium, as though it was all around them. But still they pressed on.
“Aaron Alexis could literally have hid in that building for days. I mean, for days!” Chief Cathy Lanier,
Metropolitan Police said.
The foundation honored the officers who ended the massacre in one hour and nine minutes.
“To go inside a building and search for an individual whose main mission is to kill individuals and then you have to search for him. That makes the hair on your neck stand up,” Officer Vernon Dallas said.
And it is way scarier than a TV camera.