Chicopee standoff responders honored during Boston ceremony - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Chicopee standoff responders honored during Boston ceremony

Several Chicopee officers and state police troopers were honored for their role in last year's Chicopee standoff during an awards ceremony in Boston on Friday.

Twenty people who responded to the two-hour April 2012 incident were among those to receive awards. Ten Massachusetts state troopers, nine Chicopee police officers and one civilian received a medal for their bravery that day.

"It was extremely dangerous - the assailant had a semi-automatic rifle, he had fired over 100 rounds, there was probably anywhere from 100 to 150 civilians in the area," said acting Chicopee police Chief Thomas Charette.

The standoff ended with a trooper wounded and the shooter dead.

"The cruiser started getting hit first and obviously I didn't realize I was getting shot at until I started getting glass in the face and I had nowhere to go," said Trooper John Vasquez.

Vasquez told reporters he has since recovered from his wounds. He was awarded the Medal of Honor at the ceremony, but he says his bravery was no more than all the other officers who responded that day.

"It's nice to be recognized and I think everybody that was there should have been recognized, but me being me I don't think I did anything more than what they did," said Vasquez.

And even though many of the officers say that they greatly appreciate today's award, they say responding to calls like the one in Chicopee is just part of the job.

"We did what we had to do, we'll do it again tomorrow - today if we need to do it," said Chicopee Officer Johnny Justino.

"It just goes to show the courage and the training and dedication of the members and the police department in Chicopee as well as the state police," said Charette.

In total more than 60 people received awards during the ceremony.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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