Officers commended for heroic measures during UNLV shooting

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two officers were commended Thursday for their heroic measures during a deadly shooting on the campus of the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, in December.

Several law enforcement agencies and first responders jumped into action during the incident at UNLV on Dec. 6. Among them, Jacob Noriega and Ty Vesperas, the officers honored Thursday for their bravery and life-saving measures.

Dr. Jerry Cha-Jan Chang, Dr. Patricia Navarro Velez, and Dr. Naoko Takemaru were killed in the shooting. A fourth professor was injured.

Officers from LVMPD’s South Central Area Command located the fourth shooting victim as he emerged bleeding from Beam Hall, officials said.

“Our officers are taught to go to the scene, stop the violent action of the individual, and then be able to shift gears and quickly provide first aid,” said Reggie Rader, Deputy Chief for LVMPD. “We know seconds matter when you’re losing a lot of blood.”

Rader credited officers using the “stop the bleed” training from the LVMPD’s Joint Emergency Training Institute. He also praised the use of their first aid kits, which allowed the officers to place a tourniquet on the victim until they could get to a safe area. Staff recounted officers carrying the victim to their vehicle before tending to a gunshot wound.

“Officer Jacob Noriega climbed into the trunk with the victim, continuously applying pressure to control the bleeding,” said Karen Marben, executive director of the LVMPD Foundation. “Officer Ty Vesperas drove the squad a few blocks away to a safe zone where they could be met by the paramedics.”

Vesperas showed gratitude to his family and his fellow officers.

“Thank you to the department for the amount of training they put us through,” Vesperas said. “Shout out to the officers at South Central [Area Command] that worked with us for the quick response.”

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