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SLO County Sheriff’s deputy honored for life saving response during last year’s Paso Robles active shooter incident

SLO County Sheriff's Deputy Cliff Pacas
SLO County Sheriff's Deputy Cliff Pacas poses with his family, along with Sheriff Ian Parkinson and Undersheriff Aaron Nix Wednesday morning. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office held its annual awards ceremony Wednesday morning.

Several Sheriff's Office employees and private citizens were recognized for their meritorious actions and duties over the past two years.

During the hour-long ceremony, Sheriff Ian Parkinson presented the honorees with a handful of different awards, inlcuding Lifesaving Medals, Meritorious Service Awards and Citizen Recognition Awards.

Among the award winners was Deputy Cliff Pacas.

Pacas received the Medal of Valor to Deputy Cliff Pacas for his response to the June 2020 active shooter incident in Paso Robles.

"It's very humbling and I'm very appreciative of it," said Pacas. "There's not a day that goes by when I don't think about that incident when it happened or think about my partner

During the call, Pacas and his partner Deputy Nick Dreyfus came under fire from the suspect.

After Dreyfus was shot in the face, Pacas returned gunfire with the suspect and then rendered aid to his seriously wounded partner and saved his life.

"That day and what I did, I did because it was my job. That is what I was there to do that day. Protect my partner and essentially try to get rid of the threat that was in the community," said Pacas.

The suspect was later shot and killed in a shootout with law enforcement the next day after an intense manhunt that spanned much of Paso Robles.

"In the face of danger, it's just truly courageous," said Sheriff Ian Parkinson. "He protected his partner. Returned fire. He had no idea where the suspect was. He knew that his partner was hit and that he could be next, yet he didn't retreat from what he was suppose to do and he protected his partner."

Tammy Hall, Ronald Adams, Eric Johnson, and Albert Ashcroft all received the Citizen Recognition Award for their role in helping apprehend a kidnapping suspect during an incident in December 2019 in Cambria.

During the incident, the honorees recognized and subdued the suspect in an Amber Alert case. The suspect was believed to have stabbed his girlfriend and then kidnapped their 2-year-old daughter.

The four private citizens captured the suspect and the girl was recovered unharmed.

Detective Trevor Lopes, Deputy Jacob Henry, Deputy Katie Leon, Deputy Glenn Holzer and Deputy Brandan Johnson all received the Lifesaving Medal.

Henry actually received the Lifesaving Medal four times for saving a life on four different occasions.

"Individual accolades are great and all, but this occupation and this career has always been, and will always be team effort," said Henry. "It makes me proud to wear this patch on my shoulder and represent SLO County. To be a sheriff's deputy in this county and represent the citizens and wearing this uniform and what it represents to the community and the people that we preside over."

Other awards handed out included recognition for many years of service for Sheriff's Office employees.

Deputy Richard Newell and Property Officer Shawna Schaffer were recognized for 20 years service, while Commander Keith Scott and Detective Clint Cole each were honored for 30 years of service.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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