OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Two Ardmore police officers who fatally shot a suspect during a gun battle last month and narrowly escaped with their lives are being praised for their heroism by state lawmakers.
Captain Eric Hamblin and officer Juan Galicia were awarded a citation of recognition Monday afternoon by Senator Frank Simpson and State Representative Pat Ownbey at the state capitol.
Capt. Hamblin described his experience as "a little humbling, a little nervous, it's a little different."
Galicia said, "I'm blessed to have these opportunities."
Hamblin and Galicia were both involved in the shooting that killed Henry Jackson on January 16th.
Hamblin said, "We knew that it was a bad situation. We knew he had been involved in four shootings. A homicide. He had shot at ATF agents earlier that day. So we knew that it was not going to be a good situation."
An investigation by the Carter County Sheriff's office revealed that Jackson shot first firing 13 rounds at the officers, one of which missed Hamblin's head by only inches.
After a short chase Jackson crashed, and fired at least five more shots at Hamblin's car hitting it twice.
That's when District Attorney Craig Ladd said Hamblin and Galicia returned fire killing Jackson at Martin Luther King and H street northeast.
Galicia said, "you could hear the shots you know and then you hear it hitting the windows, hitting the car, whatever it was hitting and you know it was scary. To hear that hoping you didn't get hit. It was, it was insane."
City Manager JD Spohn says he is proud of the officers and their dedication to protecting the community.
Spohn said, "certainly good examples of the professionalism that they bring to the force, you know, we appreciate their duty and they're very well trained and I believe they reacted in just the manner they were trained to react."
Following the investigation, Craig Ladd said the officers use of deadly force in this situation was lawful and just.
Both officers have since returned to duty.