The National Rifle Association selected Officer Timothy Stringer of Ferguson Township Police Department of Pennsylvania, a 21-year veteran of law enforcement and NRA life member, as the 2008 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for courageous actions taken on July 25, 2008.
On Friday, July 25, 2008 an armed man entered an auto dealership with a loaded shotgun and demanded money. The suspect stated that he had returned to Pennsylvania from Wyoming where he had burned two buildings, was a victim of conspiracy, and that law enforcement authorities refused to take his calls so he was going to a local radio station to “get on the air”. The suspect left the dealership and Ferguson Township Police were notified of the incident and the suspect’s statement about going to the radio station. Officer Timothy Stringer and two other officers arrived at the radio station prior to the suspect and took up positions of surveillance. Shortly thereafter the suspect arrived and entered the radio station parking lot.
With officers providing cover, Officer Stringer approached the open driver’s window and sprayed the suspect with pepper spray in an attempt to gain compliance. The suspect showed no reaction other than to roll up his window. With the suspect still refusing to comply, Stringer decided to break out the window with his baton. The suspect still displayed no reaction and failed to comply with Stringer’s orders”. Officer Stringer then saw that the suspect had a shotgun between the seats of his vehicle and warned other officers.
The suspect then backed up and pulled forward in an attempt to run Officer Stringer over as he raced out of the parking lot. As the officers began running towards their police cruisers to give chase, the suspect made a sudden U-turn and rammed the driver’s door of Stringer’s cruiser. After ramming Stringer’s patrol car, the suspect then pulled into an adjacent parking lot where he parked his vehicle. Officers saw the suspect deploy a long gun out of the driver’s window aimed in the direction of Officer Stringer. Shots were then exchanged between the gunman and Officer Stringer and the gunman fell down in the front seat.
As another officer began to approach, with Officer Stringer covering him, the suspect suddenly sat up and fired a shotgun round through the windshield at the approaching officer. Officer Stringer immediately engaged the gunman with his patrol rifle as the suspect accelerated and raced towards the cruiser the officers were using for cover. The suspect’s vehicle rebounded off the cruiser and he again attempted to turn the vehicle back to try to run the officers over. Officer Stringer, in concert with one of the other officers, fired multiple shots striking the suspect and finally bringing the incident to an end.
The valorous acts of Officer Timothy Stringer are a credit to himself, his department, and his community. Had he not acted as he had the gunman would have without a doubt entered the radio station and placed the countless employees there in harms way. He serves as the departments’ lead Firearms Instructor. The two other officers on the scene, who also did a commendable job, attribute the successful outcome of this incident to the lessons taught to them by Officer Stringer in his position as Firearm Instructor.