Officer shot in the line of duty, partner among 'Living Legends' inductees

Officer shot in the line of duty, partner among 'Living Legends' inductees
Retired Cincinnati Police Lt. Joe Hall with Living Legend inductees Officer William Keuper and Officer Ken Grubbs (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
Living Legend coin (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
Living Legend coin (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
2017 "Living Legends" (Facebook)
2017 "Living Legends" (Facebook)
"Living Legends" who attended Friday night's ceremony. (Facebook)
"Living Legends" who attended Friday night's ceremony. (Facebook)

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer who was shot and wounded in the line of duty earlier this year and his partner were among inductees into the 30th annual "1132 Living Legends" Friday night.

District 4 Officer Ken Grubbs was shot by an eight-time convicted felon who was out on probation back on March 12 when he and his partner, Officer William Keuper, responding to a domestic violence call in Walnut Hills.

Damion McRae confronted the officers as they approached, drew a folding Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm carbine with an extended magazine and fired at the two without provocation, according to police officials.

Grubbs was shot in the lower abdomen. He returned fire as he fell to the ground, wounded.

Offifcer Keuper also fired his gun.

McRae, 38, was shot five times and survived.

He is held at the Hamilton County jail on several charges including attempted murder on a police officer. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 22.

Both Grubbs - even after he was shot and on the ground suffering and moaning from an excruciatingly painful injury - and his partner fired back to defend themselves.

Both held McRae at gunpoint until other officers arrived and secured McRae.

After Grubbs was shot, he fired 17 shots and reloaded his gun once, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has said.

Keuper fired eight rounds.

McRae fired two shots before his carbine jammed.

Or, Deters has said, it could be possible one of the bullets fired by the officers disabled the weapon.

"It really was an act of God that saved these two cops," Deters said in March."If that gun hadn't jammed, we could be unfortunately going to a couple of funerals."

Eight others were inducted "Living Legends":

  • Retired Cincinnati Police Lt. Tim Schoch
  • Dr. Jay Johanningman, chief of trauma and critical care at University of Cincinnati Medical Center
  • Dave Armbruster of WLW
  • Cincinnati Police Officer Chris Thomas
  • Cincinnati Police Officer Shawn Tarvin
  • Cincinnati Police Sgt. Sal Tufano
  • Retired Cincinnati Police Sgt. Joe Prestle
  • Retired Cincinnati Police Assistant Chief Ace Ammann

The awards are given out each year by the private law enforcement peer recognition group made up of mostly retired and current Cincinnati police officers. They are not officially affiliated with the Cincinnati Police Department.

The group selects a few individuals, or "the best of the best," who have been key contributors to law enforcement and recognize them for their public service and leadership.

About 100 "Living Legends" have been inducted into the group since the late 1980s.

Not all inductees are past and present Cincinnati police officers. Some are members are from Hamilton County, federal and Northern Kentucky law enforcement. Others are civilians such as retired police reporter George Lecky of the Cincinnati Post.

Previous honorees include Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim, who was killed in the line of duty in 2015; FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils; Daniel Kowalski, who was on Cincinnati police's SWAT team when his helmet was shot twice by a gunman during a standoff in 2009, the helmet saved his life; Cindy Combs, Cincinnati police's first female assistant chief and Mike Allen, Hamilton County's former prosecutor.

This year's ceremony was held at Mr. Pitiful's bar in Over-the-Rhine.

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