Officers receive Medal of Valor after saving lives during neighborhood shooting


ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Two southeastern New Mexico police officers were honored Friday for saving lives during an active shooter situation in the middle of a busy neighborhood.

In July 2016, officers responded to a call on Runyan Street in Artesia.

Police say 36-year-old Juan Duran was in the street of his neighborhood with two guns, firing shots. When police arrived, Duran hid behind a camper.

He was ultimately shot by police and died.

Friday, the police who were involved, Officer Beth Hanh and Corporal Antonio Baca, received the Medal of Valor for protecting the community.

โ€œAlthough the recognition arises from a tragic set of circumstances, our purpose is not to suggest any satisfaction with the dismaying but necessary outcome of the incident in which a citizen of this community was lost,โ€ said Artesia Police Chief Kirk E. Roberts at the Medal of Valor ceremony.

The Medal of Valor is the highest medal a police officer can receive.

KRQE News 13 also spoke with neighbors.

“I don’t know how to describe it. It was an awful day. I couldn’t actually believe what I was seeing,โ€ said Randy Ingram, neighborhood resident.

“The police are the protectors of the community. Anytime they put their lives in danger they deserve an award,โ€ said Juan Lugo, neighborhood resident.

“I really think they deserve it, they’re doing an excellent job protecting the people in this town,โ€ said Ingram

KRQE News 13 did reach out to Duranโ€™s family and the lawyer handling the case. They did not want to comment.

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