BARSTOW POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF ESPINOZA AND CAPTAIN KIRBY RECEIVE THE MEDAL OF VALOR

BARSTOW POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF ESPINOZA AND CAPTAIN KIRBY RECEIVE THE MEDAL OF VALOR

BARSTOW, CALIF. – February 22, 2023 -- The Barstow Police Department hosted its First Awards Ceremony, called “Preparing for the Future,” at the Harvey House in Barstow, where Chief Andrew Espinoza Jr. and Capt. Christopher Kirby received the Medal of Valor.

On March 31, 2021, Chief Espinoza and Captain Kirby became aware of a call from the Holiday Homes trailer park regarding a male subject threatening to shoot two female employees.

As Chief Espinoza and Captain Kirby checked the trailer park, they located the suspected driving toward the manager’s office. The suspect saw the officers and immediately fled. The officers attempted to contact the suspect as he exited his vehicle and they observed he was armed with a handgun.

Both officers attempted to deescalate the situation by telling the suspect to drop the gun and they only wanted to talk with him. The suspect refused to comply, stepped up the porch to an elevated position, drew his handgun, and began firing at Capt. Kirby. Capt. Kirby was able to run for cover as the rounds struck the trailer behind him. The suspect then turned his gun towards Chief Espinoza and fired rounds at him, striking the police unit as he took cover behind it. Chief Espinoza and Captain Kirby broke cover and returned fire driving the suspect back into the trailer. Within seconds the suspect emerged again firing rounds directly at Chief Espinoza.

Both Chief Espinoza and Captain Kirby were able to stop the suspects assault before he seriously injured or killed one of them or any other civilians in the trailer park.

“The fact that these officers intervened when they did, this most likely prevented the suspect from carrying out his threat to shoot the park manager and her assistant,” said Barstow City Manager Willie Hopkins as he presented the awards.

The Medal of Valor is Barstow’s Police Departments highest honor and is awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of police service. To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an officer would have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

Capt. Kirby began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Barstow Police Department. He currently serves as the Administrative Division Commander and Special Response Team Commander.

Chief Espinoza Jr. began his law enforcement career in 1999 with the Barstow Police Department and has been a recipient of the Life Saving Medal, granted for extraordinary action to save the life of another.

“For their high degree of bravery and extraordinary courage while confronting a life-threatening situation and preventing harm unto others, we are very proud that Chief Espinoza and Captain Kirby were recognized with the Medal of Valor,” said Barstow Mayor Paul Anthony Courtney who also attended the ceremony alongside with Mayor pro Tem James Noble, City Councilmember Carmen Hernandez and City Councilmember Marilyn Dyer-Kruse.

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