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July 2015

Corporal James L. Cosby Jr.

Division of Capitol Police in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Corporal James L. Cosby Jr.

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Corporal James L. Cosby Jr., from the Division of Capitol Police in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for July 2015.

On June 21, 2012, at approximately 1:40 pm in Chesterfield County, Corporal Cosby was off duty and driving past a law office when he noticed a man in business attire running from the building. As Corporal Cosby continued to drive, he noticed more people fleeing from an exit. Based on his police training, he concluded an active shooter situation was occurring and turned around to assist.

Corporal Cosby identified himself as an off-duty police officer and was informed by witnesses that an armed man had entered the law office and shot at an attorney before fleeing. As he approached the entrance, he encountered the suspect who was carrying a rifle. Corporal Cosby identified himself as a police officer, drew his weapon, and ordered the suspect to drop his rifle.

The suspect repeatedly asked Corporal Cosby to shoot and kill him. As the suspect continued to disobey demands to put his weapon down, Corporal Cosby began engaging the man in conversation as he closed the distance between them. He grabbed the suspect as a responding officer arrived at the scene and assisted him with disarming and subduing the suspect.
 
The attorney who had been targeted and a bystander were slightly injured during the incident. The suspect had been upset with the attorney for his involvement in a child custody case. On August 30, 2013, the suspect was convicted on five charges, including attempted murder, abduction, unlawfully shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of felonious use of a firearm.

According to Colonel Anthony Pike, “As a result of his selfless act of bravery, Corporal Cosby was able to end the rampage of an active shooter incident while also avoiding a potential ‘suicide by cop’ scenario.”

“Fortunately, Corporal Cosby noticed people running from the building—signaling a potential active shooter situation. He then sprang into action and safely disarmed the shooter without further danger to those involved,” said Memorial Fund Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig W. Floyd. “His valorous actions are deserving of our 2015 July Officer of the Month Award.”

Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.

Corporal Cosby, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2015, will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2016, during National Police Week.

Police Unity Tour The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Program.