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Police officer wins HPD’s second-highest medal

A veteran police officer who reacted quickly and shot an armed man aiming his gun at another person in the Keeaumoku Street area a year ago was awarded the Honolulu Police Department’s Warrior Silver Medal of Valor on Wednesday by Chief Louis Kealoha.

Police said Cpl. Denny Santiago, 41, was driving up to the parking lot at 808 Sheridan St. about 5:30 a.m. Aug. 22, 2010, when he saw the suspect fire two shots and begin to take aim at another man.

Santiago got out of his car and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. When the suspect refused and instead aimed the gun toward him, Santiago shot him in the stomach. The 15-year HPD veteran then disarmed and subdued the suspect, police said.

The suspect recovered from his wounds and subsequently was charged with attempted murder and other counts. The case is pending.

“Cpl. Santiago undoubtedly saved the victim’s life,” said Maj. Sean Naito, commander of the Honolulu patrol district.

Santiago said he responded without hesitation knowing his patrol colleagues were backing him up. “The entire watch is real good, you know that help is right there,” he said.

The silver medal is HPD’s second highest award.

Others awarded Wednesday for heroism and outstanding work were:

>> Officers Alan Oku Jr. and Rendell Lum, who were given the HPD Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor for saving the life of a woman in Waialua by grabbing her when she tried to kill herself by jumping over a lanai railing of a high-rise building.

>> Officer Thomas Logeman, who was selected HPD’s Employee of the Second Quarter, for outstanding work with the Pearl City patrol district’s burglary-theft detail and property crimes task force.

>> The Kalihi Crime Support Unit, which was given the Unit of the Quarter award, for its work in community policing activities, misdemeanor follow-up investigations and domestic violence/runaway cases.

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