Mark Vaughan, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department
On September 25, 2014, an employee with a commercial fresh foods distributor in Moore, Oklahoma, was suspended after an investigation into violation of work rules and harassment of employees. After leaving the company’s human resources office, the employee drove to his apartment where he retrieved an 8-inch-long serrated knife, drove back to the business and crashed his car into a car parked in front of the business. He then entered the main office and attacked Colleen Hufford, the first employee he came upon, and murdered her by decapitation.
Hearing screams and the commotion of the attack, Mark Vaughan, CEO of the business and an off-duty reserve deputy with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, decided he needed to take swift and immediate action. Quickly evaluating the tactical needs of the incident, he knew he could best respond if he had his patrol rifle. He retrieved it and sought out the suspect. While Deputy Vaughan was moving into action, the perpetrator had moved on and sought another victim to attack. Finding Traci Johnson, he immediately attacked her and cut across her throat and the side of her face. Now within view of the suspect, Deputy Vaughan saw the ongoing attack and, with his rifle, shot the suspect and ended the attack.
There is no doubt that without the immediate valorous actions of Deputy Vaughan, the suspect would have claimed the lives of others. This was perhaps best summarized by Sheriff John Whetsel, who stated, "Mark put an end to the threat by shooting the suspect and saving the life of the second victim who was being actively attacked by the suspect. There is every reason to believe that the lives of untold others were saved who would have been targeted by the suspect if it had not been for Deputy Vaughan's actions."
Deputy Vaughan's heroic actions under the most stressful and confusing circumstances – and his decision to intervene and neutralize the suspect, even though it placed him in great personal danger – are a credit to himself, his department, and the community he serves, and are in keeping with the highest traditions of law enforcement. As such, it is with great honor and pride that the National Rifle Association recognizes Deputy Vaughan of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office for his valorous actions by naming him the 2014 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
"The actions of Deputy Vaughan on September 25th were nothing short of heroic," said NRA President James W. Porter III. "Thinking quickly and clearly, he put an end to an unspeakable rampage. The National Rifle Association is honored to name Deputy Vaughan as NRA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year."