Valor Award presented to Amherst County investigator involved in 2017 shooting

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

(Photo: Courtesy Amherst County Sheriff’s Office)

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — More than three years after being involved in a shootout, an Amherst County investigator was honored with the Valor Award on Tuesday for her bravery and heroism in the line of duty.

According to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, on Sept. 22, 2017, Investigator Erin K. Napier and three other officers conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle with multiple occupants in Monroe.

However, while the officers tried to investigate further, someone opened fire, resulting in a lieutenant on scene being shot in the head. Napier then returned fire and hit the person who shot the lieutenant, officials say.

Authorities say both people who were shot were treated and released from the hospital.

“The Medal of Valor is awarded to those individuals who exhibit exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life,” the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, June 8. “The Valor Award is also the highest honor awarded by the North American Police Work Dog Association and it is awarded on a National level each year.”

Even though Napier’s nomination for the award was approved in 2019, officials say there was a delay with the scheduled ceremonies because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the words of the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, “Investigator Napier not only showed true courage that night, but her actions contributed to the overall safety and welfare of her colleagues. For that we are all grateful.”

Senior Master Trainer Ben Bennett, a Trustee on the Executive Board for the North American Police Work Dog Association, reportedly presented the Valor Award to Napier on Tuesday.

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