Obama honors Copley patrolman for efforts after neighborhood shooting spree

WASHGINTON - President Barack Obama honored the nation's top police officers on Saturday, paying tribute to their sacrifices and "quiet courage" in the line of duty.

Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, praised the winners of a national police association award at a White House ceremony that honored 34 officers who showed valor in an assortment of tense standoffs, shootings and rescues.

"They are representative of the sacrifices and that quiet courage that exists among law enforcement officers all across the country and their families," Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony.

One of the recipients was Copley Patrolman Ben Campbell, who was hailed as a hero for putting an end to a deadly shooting rampage in August 2011.

Campbell was the first to respond to a call for "shots fired" in the area of Goodenough Avenue and Schocalog Road in Copley Township. He first encountered a witness who said that a man had just shot five people.

Campbell, a 20-year veteran of the police force, grabbed his rifle and began searching for the suspect.

After hearing more gunshots, Campbell ran in that direction. He then saw the suspect, 51-year-old Michael Hance, running across a yard. Campbell ordered Hance to drop his weapon. Instead of dropping his gun, Hance raised it toward Campbell.

Campbell fired three shots, hitting Hance twice. Campbell then tried to ask Hance what happened. Hance never answered, dying on the scene.

Turns out, Hance shot eight people, killing seven of them.

Campbell told NewsChannel5 in September 2011 that he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I'm not a hero.  I'm just a policeman. That's how I feel,"Campbell said.

Other officers honored Saturday included 15 members of the Detroit Police Department who confronted a gunman who opened fire in a local precinct station; five Las Vegas officers who stopped an assailant who shot an officer at a Wal-Mart; and five New York City police detectives who rescued two cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who had become disoriented while rock climbing.

Other award winners hailed from Los Angeles; Miami; Chicago; Woburn, Mass.; Paramus, N.J.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.

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