Five Glendale police officers were enjoying an evening of live music with friends and family in Las Vegas last October when the night took a deadly turn after a lone gunman fired upon the 22,000 people gathered for the Route 91 Harvest festival.
The outdoor venue quickly descended into chaos as concertgoers ran to find cover. The Glendale Police Department officers were near each other when the shots were first fired but soon became separated in the rush of people.
Though they were separated, Sgts. Manny Fernandez and Danny Fernandez, Dets. Matt Landsberger and Eric Meyer and Officer Christian Magarino jumped into action to help and protect the people around them while the gunman continued to fire at the crowd.
In the end, a total of 59 people were killed in what has been called one of the worst mass shootings in modern American history.
The men's actions were recognized during the Glendale Police Awards luncheon on Thursday. Hosted by the Glendale Police Foundation and presented by ABC-7 anchor David Ono, the event saw the five men honored with the Heroism Award.
Rather than have each men's individual action singled out during the luncheon, the five decided to be attributed as a group.
The officers helped take wounded strangers to safety, dismantled a barricade that blocked an exit and rendered medical aid to those who had been shot.
"Under great threat of injury or death to themselves, each of these five tapped into a deeper need to serve others and ignored self-preservation," Ono said.
Other awards that were given out included the Glendale Police Department's Chief's Awards of Excellence which were handed out to police cadet Argam Khoabahshian and Paul Schlossman, the school's dean of student affairs.
Brittany Lerian was the recipient of the inaugural Youth Service Award. Lerian helped established a K9 tribute in the police department's lobby.
"The tribute consists of a granite wall inscribed with the Glendale Police K9 Tribute, the K9 badge and K9 prayer," Ono said. "In front of the wall stands a life-sized bronze statue of a German shepherd."
Sal Areyan, Bryant Ramos, John Dishoian and Mike Romero were honored with community service awards for their actions during an attempted robbery at the Bhindi jewelry store in the Glendale Galleria in March. Ono said the men helped capture one of the robbers, with Romero being the security guard who fired his gun toward the would-be thieves.
Distinguished Service Awards were given to Detective Petros Kmbikyan and Officers Sharon Kim and Frank Segura as well as Communications Operator Michelle Lewis.
Officer Michelle Gonzalez received the Glendale Police Officer of the Year award.