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ATF Agent Honored for Saving Lives During Las Vegas Shooting

“Agent Rice’s quick thinking, swift and unhesitating action, commanding presence and good judgment in the face of an entirely unexpected and unforeseeable event, reflects on his exceptional professionalism and strength of character. Without question, his actions saved many lives,” U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman said while speaking at a downtown ceremony Saturday that honored Special Agent Geoff Rice of the Carlsbad office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.Agent Rice was off duty at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with his wife on last October when gunfire broke out. While many of the concertgoers first thought the sounds might be fireworks or part of the concert, Rice assessed it was gunfire, yelled a warning and helped his wife to safety behind a metal sound equipment box. He also helped carry a man who had been shot in the neck to safety and went back out to grab Ashley Valle and Beckie Law – who he didn’t know at the time. Neighbor on a Mission to Help Family in Need Eventually, when the gunfire stopped, Rice directed those hiding behind the sound box out of the area to safety. He then stayed behind to assist first responders at the scene.Along with his wife, both Law and Valle attended the awards ceremony Saturday where Rice was recognized as the top honoree at the first annual “Excellence in the Pursuit of Justice” awards. Paralympian Tests Life-Changing Tech for Visually Impaired “We owe this man so much, He’s done so much for us,” Valle told NBC 7 after the ceremony. “Our story could have been very different had he not been there that night and had we not been in the right place at the right time and he protected us.”Law, who came from Santa Monica for the event, said she was feeling emotional, “but it feels good to see him receive an award for doing something so great.” Suspect in Carlsbad Costco Stabbing Arrested in Temecula It was the first time Agent Rice had seen Valle or Law since the shooting.“It sort of brought me back to the concert for a minute,” Rice admitted, “but after getting a chance to talk to them I was able to comfort them a little bit more. I’m happy to see them.”Although he was very grateful for the honor, Rice remained humble, clearly uncomfortable with the attention.“There were hundreds of people there that day that did a lot more than I did. It was people helping people, you know, people helping strangers,” he said.He said his first thought was that he couldn’t believe it was happening, but then his training kicked in. “You’re always wondering is this the right decision and luckily it turned out to be the right decision,” he said. “It was a horrible day, but we’ve made new friends from it.”Fifty-eight people were killed in the Oct. 1 shooting.The ceremony also honored other local, state and federal officers who have achieved extraordinary results in the job to prevent crime, seek justice and enhance safety.
Source: NBC San Diego

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