Actions above and beyond the call of duty; and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind; or an unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.Five Medal of Valor-worthy acts of courage are recognized each year.
On January 26, 2007 - five years to the day - Lieutenant Carlos Thompson of the Mobile (Alabama) County Sheriff's Office attempted to stop a vehicle fitting the description of that belonging to an armed robbery suspect. A high-speed chase ensued. During the chase, the suspect stopped, turned, and opened fire upon Lieutenant Thompson with a SKS assault rifle.
From Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Citations for 2006-2007:
Lieutenant Carlos Thompson
Mobile County Sheriff's Office, Mobile, AL
On Friday, January 26, 2007, Lieutenant Carlos Thompson of the Mobile County (AL) Sheriff's Office attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the description of a suspect vehicle involved in an armed robbery. The driver subsequently fled the scene at a high rate of speed. At an intersection, the driver ran through the stop sign, made a 180-degree turn, and stopped his vehicle, facing Lieutenant Thompson. The suspect began firing an assault rifle, striking Lieutenant Thompson and seriously wounding him in his lower leg and hip, rendering him unable to exit his patrol car. While returning fire, Lieutenant Thompson was struck in the right elbow by gunfire, which forced him to reload his weapon with his weak hand to continue to return fire. As the suspect approached on foot, Lieutenant Thompson, using his weak hand, was able to fatally wound the suspect. Though seriously injured, Lieutenant Thompson was able to direct his fellow deputies arriving on the scene, ensuring that the area was secure and any evidence was protected.
Lieutenant Thompson was a 17-year veteran of the MCSO when this incident occurred. He received his medal at the White House from President Bush on October 22, 2008. He was also decorated with the local Combat Cross and Wounded in Service medals.