Posthumous bravery award for West Mercia officer

Monday, 28 July, 2008

Two heroic West Mercia officers, one whom lost his life in a shooting incident, were honoured with the top award at the Police Bravery Awards.

Armed response officer PC Ricky Gray was shot during a call to a domestic incident where a gunman held two other officers hostage. His colleague, PC Mat Crisp and his wife, Jenny Gray, collected the Police Federation/Sun newspaper award from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. It is the first time the award has been made posthumously.

In May 2007, PCs Gray and Crisp were called to provide back up to two colleagues being held at gunpoint after a domestic incident in Shrewsbury escalated out of control.

The two officers who arrived first at the scene found a man threatening his partner with a rifle, which he turned on the unarmed officers, taking them hostage. One of the officers pressed the emergency button on his radio; PCs Gray and Crisp were part of the armed response on duty and attended. PC Gray ran down the alleyway to the rear of the house, which distracted the gunman allowing the two unarmed officers to escape.

PC Gray then confronted the man and was shot. PC Crisp called for back up and relayed what had taken place back to the control room. Unable to see the gunman, PC Crisp had to wait for back up to arrive before he was able to help move PC Gray to a safe location. His killer was found in the back garden of the property having taken his own life.

The brave actions of PC Gray and PC Crisp succeeded in preventing their colleagues and the girlfriend of the gunman from being injured.

West Mercia Constabulary's Chief Constable Paul West said, "PC Crisp and PC Gray acted with tremendous bravery and this award recognises the selflessness of their actions.

"PC Ricky Gray was an outstanding officer who paid the ultimate price. Ricky was very popular with his colleagues, extremely well liked and held in the highest esteem. He is sorely missed by all those who knew and worked with him.

"In Ricky's four years with West Mercia his bravery, determination and professionalism as a police officer saw him recognised with a total of five commendations, - that itself speaks volumes for the sort of man he was and his dedication and commitment to duty."

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