Officers Honored For Bravery During 2015 Route 51 Shootout

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Six local officers were honored Friday for going above and beyond in their incredible bravery in bringing down an armed carjacker firing a rifle along a busy road.

June 22, 2015 is a day these officers will never forget. Not far from the Liberty Tunnels, along busy Route 51, an armed carjacker was firing rounds of bullets from an automatic rifle as hundreds of occupied cars sat in traffic.

“My motivation was to maintain and preserve peace,” Sergeant James Vogel said.

Six officers responded to the scene: Vogel, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kevin Faulds, Port Authority Police officer Joseph Del Sole, Pittsburgh Police Lieutenant Anthony Palmero, Detective William Friburger and Detective David Honick.

The six officers fired back at 20-year-old Tyrone Harris, killing him and ending his 30-minute crime spree.

“Honest to God, I was just doing my job,” Vogel said.

“I was just more concerned about making sure he didn’t get anywhere else to hurt anybody else,” Del Sole said.

At the Allegheny County Courthouse, those officers were given a congressional proclamation recognizing their courage Friday.

“Most of us would run away from someone shooting an assault rifle at us,” Pa. Rep. Mike Doyle said. “These six officers ran towards that gunman.”

The officers’ families and other officials were there for the honor.

“It’s a stressful kind of lifestyle, I think, and so we wanted to make sure that the families were here too, so that we can recognize them also,” Doyle said.

The officers say they were humbled by Friday’s experience.

“I don’t think any of us really get into this job for accolades,” Vogel said. “At least me, [my motivation] is to make the world a better place, and to do what I could, what one person can do to affect a positive change in the community.”

Watch & Listen LIVE