Four Mentor Police officers honored for actions during mobile park shooting

Mar. 3—Four Mentor Police officers who were first to arrive at the scene of an active shooting at a mobile park in November 2023 and took gunfire while attending to victims are being recognized by several local organizations.

During the State of the City address at Mentor High School’s Paradigm on Feb. 27, City Manager Ken Filipiak announced Mentor Police officers Shawn Wilson, Brad Nicholson, Chuck Cox and Anthony Haddad each received the Distinguished Service Award from the Lake County Blue Coats Association on Feb. 23.

Soon, the officers will be receiving the Combat Cross award from the Lake County Chiefs of Police for placing themselves in imminent danger to render aid to the victims.

“On Nov. 16 (2023) our city was shocked by the first mass shooting in our history at the Mentor Mobile Green Estates. While not a random act, this was a reminder that no community is immune from such violence,” Filipiak said. “And while tragic, the response by our police and fire personnel was remarkable and almost certainly saved lives.”

At 4:35 pm, the first call came into the dispatch center. Police officers arrived within 2 minutes and 16 seconds of the time of the first call.

The first four officers who arrived took gunfire as they rendered aid to the victims while a tactical response to the shooter began, led by the SWAT team.

Police Chief Ken Gunsch said while the mobile home park shooting is an extreme example of the danger officers come across in the line of duty, always being prepared is of paramount importance.

“The shooting at the mobile home park clearly shows the dangers our police officers face every day while protecting our community,” Gunsch said. “These officers arrived within the first two minutes of the communications center receiving the call. Their actions, particularly while under direct fire, are a testament to their bravery and their training.

“While these (four) officers were officially recognized, there were numerous other officers that responded and helped bringing the situation to an end,” the chief added. “It was a team effort from everyone involved.”

Officers were able to immediately assist two of the three victims — one survived.

“Thanks to the actions of all the Mentor officers involved, and the help of many other Lake County police agencies, no additional harm came to any victims after our arrival — including our police officers and firefighters,” Filipiak said.

The suspect was isolated and later died from a self-inflicted wound without any shots being fired by the Mentor PD.

“(The four recognized officers) represent all our officers who acted heroically that day,” Filipiak said.

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