After displaying an act of incredible heroism August 22, 2014, the National Rifle Association has named San Bernardino police Officer Marcus Pesquera their 2015 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Pesquera and his Field Training Officer Gabe Garcia, a six-year veteran, were on patrol in San Bernardino’s westside when they came across a group of people gathered around a car, apparently drinking.
Pesquera had graduated the police academy just seven weeks earlier.
“We were trying to be proactive on patrol when we found ourselves driving down 19th Street, making our way down Garner Avenue,” Pesquera recalled. “It was a bumpy, unpaved road when we saw a car with its lights on and people just hanging out.”
Both officers stepped out from their patrol car to see what the group was doing.
That moment the unthinkable happened. One person in the group armed with a high powered assault rifle opened fire on the unsuspecting officers.
“Gabe had his gun drawn, so I drew my weapon,” Pesquera said in an earlier interview. “Then I heard shots ring out. I went to the ground to gain cover as I was taking fire.”
Facing a heavily armed gunman and Garcia severely wounded, Pesquera, in a desperate gunbattle, leapt from his cover to return fire and after nearly three dozen shots were fired he ultimately killed their attacker.
The gunman was identified as Alex Alvarado, 38, a longtime member of a criminal street gang based in Redlands.
“The more than 5 million members of the National Rifle Association would like to honor Officer Pesquera’s courage, bravery, and quick thinking as the NRA Officer of the Year,” NRA President Allan D. Cors said in a written statement. “His heroic actions ended a deadly assault and allowed first responders to safely and quickly reach Officer Garcia to perform vital life-saving measures.”
In September, Pesquera was also the first San Bernardino police officer to be awarded the State’s Medal of Valor, which is the state’s highest award for police valor.
With all the black lives matter hooplah, it’s great to see the NRA stand up for the thin blue line that separates civility from chaos by honoring this great officer.