Archive | Tributes

RSS feed for this section

#imnohero #neverforget: Sergeant Gary Morales, EOW February 28, 2013


Sergeant Gary Morales was shot and killed while making a traffic stop in the 3200 block of Naylor Terrace, near Edwards Road, at approximately 9:30 am.

During the stop a subject exited the stopped vehicle and opened fire, striking Sergeant Morales as he sat in his patrol car. He was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute where he was pronounced dead.

The subject was taken into custody. On April 29, 2016, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Sergeant Morales was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, and his brother.


#imnohero #neverforget: Police Officer Justin Taylor Billa, EOW February 20, 2018


Police Officer Justin Billa was shot and killed while assisting in the apprehension of a man who had just murdered his ex-wife.

Investigators at the scene of the original murder identified the subject as a person of interest. Officer Billa, along with other officers, went to the man’s home on Avondale Court to make contact with him. As the officers arrived on scene the subject exited the home and opened fire on them, striking Officer Billa. Another officer returned fire as the subject retreated back into the home.

Officer Billa was transported to the University of South Alabama Medical Center where he died a short time later.

The subject remained barricaded inside his home for the next three hours. His body was recovered from the home following the standoff.

Officer Billa had served with the Mobile Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and one 1-year-old son.


#imnohero #neverforget: Edouard V.M. Izac, Medal of Honor


Edouard Isaacs was born on December 18, 1891, in Cresco, Iowa. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1915 and served on the battleships USS Kansas and USS Florida until 1917, when he served aboard the USS President Lincoln, a former German passenger liner fitted out as a troop transport. LT Isaacs was captured when USS President Lincoln was torpedoed and sunk by the German Submarine U-90 on May 21, 1918. He was taken to Germany as a Prisoner of War, making several escape attempts in the process. Isaacs finally escaped from a prison camp on October 6, 1918, made his way to Switzerland, then Paris, then London, and finally arrived in Washington, D.C., on November 11, 1918. LT Isaacs remained in the Navy after the war, serving at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C., until he was retired for disability in May 1921. Isaacs changed his family name to “Izac” in July 1925 and was advanced to Lieutenant Commander on the retired list in January 1936. Edouard Izacs served in Congress as a U.S. Representative from California from 1937 to 1947. He died on January 18, 1990 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-90, on 21 May 1918, Lt. Izac was captured and held as a prisoner on board the U-90 until the return of the submarine to Germany, when he was confined in the prison camp. During his stay on the U-90 he obtained information of the movements of German submarines which was so important that he determined to escape, with a view to making this information available to the U.S. and Allied Naval authorities. In attempting to carry out this plan, he jumped through the window of a rapidly moving train at the imminent risk of death, not only from the nature of the act itself but from the fire of the armed German soldiers who were guarding him. Having been recaptured and reconfined, Lt. Izac made a second and successful attempt to escape, breaking his way through barbed-wire fences and deliberately drawing the fire of the armed guards in the hope of permitting others to escape during the confusion. He made his way through the mountains of southwestern Germany, having only raw vegetables for food, and at the end, swam the River Rhine during the night in the immediate vicinity of German sentries.


#imnohero #neverforget: Commander Paul R. Bauer, EOW February 13, 2018


Commander Paul Bauer was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a subject who had just run from other officers near the James R. Thompson Center, a state government office building.

Other officers had attempted to conduct a subject stop on the man in connection with a shooting that had occurred several days earlier. The subject fled from the officers. Commander Bauer, who was wearing a suit and in the area for a meeting, observed the subject at the government building and attempted to stop him in a stairwell. The subject opened fire, killing Commander Bauer.

The subject was taken into custody moments later.

Commander Bauer had served with the Chicago Police Department for 32 years and served as commander of the 018th District. He is survived by his wife and daughter.


#imnohero #neverforget: Henry L. Hulbert, Medal of Honor


Henry Hulbert was born on January 12, 1867, in Kingston-upon-Hull, England. He served with the British Colonial Civil Service in the Malay States from 1884 to 1897, and immigrated to the United States in 1898. Hulbert enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 28, 1898, and his first assignment was with the Marine Guard aboard the cruiser USS Philadelphia (C-4), from 1898 to 1902, during which time he participated in combat at Samoa in the Second Samoan Civil War in 1899. He became the first Marine ever to be promoted to the grade of Marine Gunner on March 24, 1917, having previously been promoted to Sergeant Major. Hulbert sailed to France in July 1917, and was assigned as a platoon leader with C Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, participating in the battles of Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont Ridge, and during this time he was commissioned a 1st Lt in the Marine Corps. He was killed in action at Blanc Mont Ridge on October 4, 1918, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy while serving with the Marine Guard, U.S.S. Philadelphia in action at Samoa, Philippine Islands, 1 April 1899.


#imnohero #neverforget: Sergeant Ira Gabor Essoe, Sr., EOW February 4, 2010


Sergeant Ira Essoe succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on November 6th, 1980.

He and his partner, who were both in plainclothes, had gone to the Mall of Orange to collect bail on a warrant. When they arrived at the location, they observed three men breaking into a car in the mall’s parking lot.

Sergeant Essoe approached one side of the car as his partner approached the other. One of the subjects was able to disarm Sergeant Essoe’s partner at gunpoint, and ordered him to lay on the ground. Sergeant Essoe drew his revolver and engaged the suspect who was giving commands to his partner while the other two men fled. Sergeant Essoe’s partner was able to seek cover during the shootout.

One of the men who was fleeing on foot opened fire on Sergeant Essoe, then returned to the vehicle and shot Sergeant Essoe from behind.

Sergeant Essoe remained in poor health and passed away from direct complications of the wounds on February 4th, 2010.

Two of the subjects were apprehended following a high speed pursuit a short time later. The third was later linked to the crime while in federal prison for bank robbery. All three were sentenced to eight to 18 years in prison for the original shooting and attempted murder. In 2010 the Orange County District Attorney charged the men with murder. In response to an appeal of a preliminary ruling, the California Court of Appeals ruled that based on the laws governing the crime in 1980, the suspects could not be charged for his murder. They were released from custody after one year.

Sergeant Essoe had served with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

#imnohero #neverforget: Michael Hudson, Medal of Honor

Michael Hudson was born in 1834 in Sligo, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States before the U.S. Civil War. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on September 12, 1861, in Brooklyn, New York, and served aboard the sloop-of-war USS Brooklyn during the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 31, 1864. Sgt Hudson received an honorable discharge on October 25, 1865, and died on December 10, 1876. He was buried at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Charlotte, Michigan.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. BROOKLYN during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram TENNESSEE in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Despite severe damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked the decks, Sergeant Hudson fought his gun with skill and courage throughout the furious 2-hour battle which resulted in the surrender of the rebel ram TENNESSEE.


#imnohero #neverforget: Detective Fred R. Grant, EOW January 29, 1932


Detective Grant succumbed to a gunshot wound received several months earlier when he was shot by a suspect wanted for kidnapping, robbery, and murder. The suspect opened fire on officers while hiding under a deck, striking Detective Grant in the neck. The suspect was shot killed several days later by a railroad police officer assisting local officers in the search. Detective Grant suffered to a hemorrhage two weeks after being released from the hospital.
Detective Grant had been with the agency for five years and was survived by his wife.


#imnohero #neverforget: James H. Howard, Medal of Honor


James Howard was born on April 8, 1913, in Canton, China. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on August 5, 1937, and was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator on February 23, 1939. Howard served on the aircraft carriers USS Wasp, Lexington, and Enterprise before resigning his commission on June 21, 1941, to serve with the Flying Tigers in China. He was credited with shooting down 2.333 Japanese aircraft in aerial combat, plus 4 more on the ground while strafing enemy airfields, before the Flying Tigers were disbanded in July 1942. Howard returned to the United States later that month, and was commissioned a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Forces on January 31, 1943. Howard flew combat with the 354th Fighter Group in Europe from May 1943 until early 1945, adding 6 more enemy aircraft to his credit, plus 1 probable and 2 damaged, for a total of 8.333 during World War II. He was next assigned as base commander of Pinellas Army Airfield, Florida, before leaving active duty on November 30, 1945, and entering the Air Force Reserve. He was promoted to Brigadier General in the reserves on March 22, 1948, and retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve on October 1, 1966. James Howard died on March 18, 1995, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Oschersleben, Germany on 11 January 1944. On that day Colonel Howard was the leader of a group of P-51 aircraft providing support for a heavy bomber formation on a long range mission deep in enemy territory. As Colonel Howard’s group met the bombers in the target area the bomber force was attacked by numerous enemy fighters. Colonel Howard, with his group, at once engaged the enemy and himself destroyed a German ME. 110. As a result of this attack Colonel Howard lost contact with his group, and at once returned to the level of the bomber formation. He then saw that the bombers were being heavily attacked by enemy airplanes and that no other friendly fighters were at hand. While Colonel Howard could have waited to attempt to assemble his group before engaging the enemy, he chose instead to attack single-handed a formation of more than thirty German airplanes. With utter disregard for his own safety he immediately pressed home determined attacks for some thirty minutes, during which time he destroyed three enemy airplanes and probably destroyed and damaged others. Toward the end of this engagement three of his guns went out of action and his fuel supply was becoming dangerously low. Despite these handicaps and the almost insuperable odds against him, Colonel Howard continued his aggressive action in an attempt to protect the bombers from the numerous fighters. His skill, courage, and intrepidity on this occasion set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the Armed Forces of the United States.


#imnohero #neverforget: Patrolman Brian A. Aselton, EOW January 23, 1999


Patrolman Brian Aselton was shot and killed after responding to a noise complaint in an apartment building. After he and his backup officer checked the outside of the building but did not find any violations. The backup officer cleared the scene and Patrolman Aselton went inside to make contact with the complainant on the second floor. While making his way to the apartment he observed a male, covered in blood, exit another apartment.

Patrolman Aselton grabbed the subject who began to struggle. During the struggle the man produced a handgun that he had just stolen from the apartment and fired over his shoulder, striking Patrolman Aselton in the forehead. The suspect and a female subject then fled the scene.

The two along with another man had been involved in a home invasion robbery in which the tenant had been bound and severely beaten. Patrolman Aselton’s interruption of the robbery is credited with saving the victim’s life.

The male suspect who shot Patrolman Aselton was arrested three days later after a patrolman received a tip during a routine traffic stop. Three other suspects were also arrested a short time later and charged in connection with his murder. The shooter was charged with capital murder.

On February 8, 2003, the shooter was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. His accomplice was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to 42 years. His female companion was sentenced to 14 years. A fourth suspect who drove the others to and from the scene was sentenced to 20 years.

Patrolman Aselton had served with the agency for 2 years. He was survived by his parents, brother and twin sister.

Patrolman Aselton’s cousin, Patrolman Michael Aselton, of the Barnstable, Massachusetts, Police Department, was killed in the line of duty on March 29, 1983, during a vehicle pursuit.