Gov. Jay Nixon awarded the Missouri Medal of Valor to 10 public safety officers from across the state for their courageous and exceptional efforts to save lives and protect the public in 2013.
The officers represent Missouri police and sheriffs’ departments and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. They responded to a variety of potentially deadly threats: rescuing people from burning vehicles, pulling a person from a sinking car and an elderly couple from swirling flood waters, and stopping deadly threats posed to others by armed criminals.
Among them were Kyle M. Weiss, Pevely Police Department; and Nina M. Osia and Michael T. Toombs, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2013, Sheriff’s Deputies Osia (Oh-shee) and Toombs received permission to search a residence in rural Jefferson County where a man was wanted for a felony and fugitive warrant. As Deputy Osia walked down the stairs into the basement, she spotted a gunman crouched with an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle. Deputy Osia attempted to push Deputy Toombs, who was behind her, and yelled, “He’s got a gun!” The gunman began firing at both deputies, hitting Deputy Osia in her leg and knocking her to the floor.
Deputy Toombs quickly began to drag Deputy Osia out of the line of fire while returning fire at the gunman. Deputy Toombs was then struck in the left arm by at least two bullets from the gunman. Both deputies worked to cover one another as they returned fire, and they administered first aid to each other. They radioed for backup units, but the gunman escaped.
Six hours later, Pevely Police Officer Kyle Weiss was one of five officers who responded to a residence just a few blocks away from the original scene after receiving a tip. Officer (now Sergeant) Weiss was stationed in front of the house. As an entry team cleared a barricaded room, the gunman broke out a window and ran out of the house. Officer Weiss saw the gunman approaching and ordered him to stop and drop his weapon. Instead, he turned toward Weiss and raised his weapon to fire. To protect his own life and the safety of others, Officer Weiss fired two shots, fatally wounding the gunman.