BOSTON (CBS) – Six Braintree Police officers were given the state’s top honor for their bravery during a shootout last year with a barricaded suspect at a Motel 6.
Police officers from across Massachusetts were honored at the State House on Friday during the annual George L. Hanna Awards for Bravery. The award is named after the state trooper who was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop in Auburn in 1983.
All awards were given for acts of bravery that happened in 2017.
Braintree police officers William Cushing, Donald Delaney, Paul Hamilton, John Hurley, Ryan McHugh, and Stephen Wallace received the Medal of Honor. The officers responded to a call for a barricaded suspect at Motel 6 and the man inside opened fire.
Delaney was shot in the face during the May 2017 incident. Despite his injuries, Delaney returned fire. The suspect was killed in the exchange of gunfire.
“I thought I was dead initially and I wasn’t, so I just reacted. I really didn’t have time to think. None of us did,” Delaney said.
Wallace said he’s glad Delaney is OK.
“I’m so happy to see Donnie wearing that hat and not a bandage on his head,” Wallace said. “It just makes me happy in all kinds of ways.”
Delaney is fully recovered and recently returned back to to work.
“The award is a great honor, but it’s not something that we think about in those times. We’re just happy to be alive,” Delaney said.
Everett Police Sgt. Lawrence Jedrey, Chelsea officers Robert Hammond and James Davie, Worcester Police officer Robert Sansoucy, Massachusetts State Police troopers Michael Caranfa, Robert Holland, George Katsarakes, David Nims, and Daniel Purtell all received the Medal of Valor, which is the second highest award given.
“Their bravery and their ability to stay calm under pressure led to heroic acts and the people of the Commonwealth are very fortunate to have such dedicated police officers protecting us at all times,” Gov. Charlie Baker said about all of the officers who were honored Friday.
Before the award ceremony, Baker took time to discuss his new bill and plan to crack down hard on violent crimes and keep dangerous criminals off the streets and in jail longer. It’s something these Braintree officers strongly support.
“I think about the bill we filed to lesson the likelihood that somebody who really doesn’t belong on the streets won’t be,” Baker said.