SHERWOOD, Ore. -- On a sunny Saturday morning, applause erupted inside the auditorium at Sherwood High School.
At the annual Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Meritorious Awards & Recognition Ceremony, a crowd of several dozen were on their feet cheering for 14 men in uniform, honored for a single night of service back in December.
They were the first responders from TVF&R, Tualatin Police, Sherwood Police and other area agencies, called to the scene of an officer-involved shooting near Sherwood Christmas night.
The injured officer was Oregon State Trooper Nic Cederberg.
"I got there as the shots were getting fired off,” said Tualatin police officer Daniel Hernandez. “During that time it was just a chaotic scene.”
The shooter, then at large, was 30-year-old James Tylka. They would later learn Tylka had just shot and killed his estranged wife Katelynn Armand, moments after she dropped off their 11-month-old daughter.
The couple reportedly had a history of domestic violence.
Officer Hernandez recalled how first responders from roughly half a dozen local agencies worked together to “control the scene.”
“I think it was more emotional to me because one of our own brothers was shot and on the ground,” he said. “It was definitely very hard.”
Tylka, hours later, was shot several times by police officers as he hid in bushes nearby. Investigators would later determine he shot himself in the head first. Officers believed he was shooting at them and fired dozens of rounds at the bush.
Tylka sustained 20 gunshot wounds. The district attorney later determined officers were justified.
Watch: Body cam video of the shooting (Warning: Graphic)
On Saturday, at an event designed to honor and thank police and other first responders, local firefighters were quick to give credit to law enforcement.
The recognition, they noted, comes a time when that profession frequently finds itself at the center of controversy.
Photos: First responders honored
“It feels pretty good, and it feels good to work with them as seamlessly as we did,” said TVF&R Lieutenant Dean Schulze. “I certainly hold them in a huge, high regard for what they do, and I don’t think a lot of people can understand that situation.”
The names of those honored at Saturday’s ceremony were as follows: Anthony Cristofaro, Daniel Hernandez, Wes Johnson, Gregory D. Mau, Brian C. Mintie, Chris Pierce, Eli Sandres, Dean E. Schulze, Stan Smith, Jorge Solache, Jeffrey M. Tarabochia, Joseph F. Tarmichael, Joe Twigg and Ian W. Yocum.
Trooper Cederberg is still recovering from his injuries. A GoFundMe page set up by his family has raised more than $97,000.
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