Deputy honored for response that helped save lives during Fifth Third Center shooting

Updated: Aug. 15, 2019 at 1:30 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy was honored on Thursday for his quick response during the Fifth Third Center shooting last year.

Deputy James York earned the Rotary Club of Cincinnati’s 2019 Award for Valor.

On Sept. 6, Omar Enrique Santa Perez, 29, opened fire inside the bank’s national headquarters on Fountain Square on Sept. 6, killing a Fifth Third Bank employee and two contractors and wounding two others.

According to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s, York was on routine patrol downtown when he was alerted about the shooting and responded immediately along with Cincinnati police officer.

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York entered the lobby and moved toward the shooter who was still firing, they said. He had the shooter in his gun sight, but could not fire because other officers were on the other side. Cincinnati police fired from other angles, killing the gunman. York assisted police secure the scene and guard the shooter’s body.

A total of 11 rounds were fired from officers’ weapons including eight from a 9 mm handgun, two from a shotgun and one rifle round.

According to Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Santa Perez was killed by shotgun wound to the head.

The victims were identified as Pruthvi Raj Kandepi, 25, Richard Newcomer, 64, and Luis Felipe Calderón, 48.

It remains unclear why Santa Perez opened fire.

York was one of several members of law enforcement within the HCSO who received an award Thursday.

Fiscal Officer Kevin Horn received the Administrative Excellence Award.

Corporal Donald Maher received the Superior Achievement Award.

Sgt. Michelle Moore received the Career Enhancement Award.

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati initiated the Rotary Awards more than a decade ago.

Awards honor members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Cincinnati Fire Department, Cincinnati Police Department and teachers in Cincinnati.

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