Officer shot on duty to receive medal

The Marshalltown Police Chief will present the officer who was shot when he chased a pair of alleged bank robbers back in November with a medal of valor Monday.

Chief Mike Tupper announced that after reviewing the details of the case he has decided to bestow the medal on Officer Vern Jefferson for his actions the morning of Nov. 2, 2012.

Jefferson is an eight-year veteran with the Marshalltown Police Department. He was the first officer on scene when the call came in that two gunmen were robbing the Lennox Employees Credit Union, 1004 E. Main St.

“We knew right away that it was a serious situation,” Tupper said. “Officer Jefferson was in the right place at the right time, and came across the suspects.”

Jefferson chased the two men on foot for several blocks before one of the suspects turned and shot him in the leg. He returned fire, striking the shooter. Doctors treated and released both men the same day at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center.

Subsequent to the chase, police arrested and charged Ben Crisantos and Abel Ramirez, both 22, of Marshalltown, with a slew of felony charges, including attempted murder and first-degree robbery, both Class B felonies.

“Officer Jefferson performed courageously, and it is definitely worthy of recognition,” Tupper said. “I know he is going to tell everybody he was just doing his job, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he performed with honor.”

Jefferson returned to duty Feb. 21 after a leave of absence following the shooting.

Tupper will present Jefferson with the medal at Monday’s city council meeting, 5:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 10 W. State St.