Police, Valor Awards
Corporal Michael R. Soden
Silver Medal of Valor
Sergeant Kenneth M. Fox
Bronze Medal of Valor
On October 16, 2009, at 3:30 p.m., Corporal Michael Soden was dispatched to the 3600 block of Powder Mill Road for the report of a robbery in progress involving an armored truck. According to one of the truck’s guards, a male subject approached them as they were making a money delivery to a business. The man was acting erratic and demanded the guards open the truck doors. The guards refused and drove away, but the man followed in his Chevrolet Impala. As the guards stopped at a traffic light, the man got out of his car, produced an SKS assault rifle and began shooting at the armored truck.
Corporal Soden arrived on the scene and observed the armored truck had stopped partially in the roadway; the Impala was parked in front of it. He then heard the distinct sound of automatic rifle fire coming from the direction of the armored vehicle. Moving quickly, Corporal Soden ran to the trunk of his car and grabbed a heavy duty bullet proof vest. At that point, he noticed a number of citizens standing along the shoulder of the roadway watching the events. Corporal Soden realized the immediate danger to the guards, the citizens and himself. He left the cover and concealment of his police cruiser and began approaching the masked gunman. Suddenly, the masked gunman appeared from behind the armored truck with the assault rifle and pointed the weapon at Corporal Soden. Fearing for his life, Corporal Soden exchanged several shots with the gunman. The suspect retreated to his vehicle and fled the scene. Corporal Soden remained calm and provided responding officers with a clear description of the suspect, his vehicle and direction of travel.
Additional officers responded to the area and located the suspect’s car in a residential community. Officers continued to canvass the neighborhood when they observed the armed suspect force his way inside a house in the 5000 block of Lexington Place. The terrified homeowner ran out but told officers that three of his roommates were still inside. Officers quickly established a perimeter to contain the armed man.
Sergeant Kenneth Fox, armed with his patrol rifle, took up a tactical position behind the target house. While watching the back of the residence, Sergeant Fox observed the suspect exit the house. The suspect was wearing a black mask over his face and he was still armed with the assault rifle. In an attempt to conceal himself, the suspect crouched down behind the air conditioner. Sergeant Fox continuously relayed the armed suspect’s location to the other police units on the scene. The suspect left his position and began to move towards the corner of the house. Sergeant Fox knew if the suspect cleared the corner, he would have a clear line of sight of other officers who were on the perimeter. As the suspect continued his approach, he raised the rifle towards the officers. Fearing that the suspect was about to open fire on the unsuspecting officers, Sergeant Fox discharged one shot, striking the suspect. The suspect was subsequently apprehended and transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. These officers’ courageous actions, while exposed to great danger, were directly responsible for the capture and removal of this armed and dangerous felon from the community.