On Aug. 3, two members of the Kansas Highway Patrol were awarded for their bravery in response to critical situations that occurred earlier this year. Master Trooper Doug Schulte and Trooper Perry Frey were honored for their actions at a ceremony in Hays.
“Everyday our troopers could be faced with dangerous situations. There is no routine day, and this is evidenced by the events that occurred this past January that these troopers are being honored for,” said Colonel Ernest E. Garcia, superintendent of the Patrol. “Both of these troopers responded to the situations with the utmost courage. Both of these troopers are very deserving recipients, and I’m proud to be able to present them these awards.”
Schulte was given the Purple Heart Award in recognition of his efforts on Jan. 29, when he was shot while on duty. That night, Schulte had made a traffic stop on Old US-40 southeast of Hays. As he approached, the driver exited the vehicle, and did not follow Schulte’s commands to stay in the vehicle. As Schulte got closer, the driver raised a revolver and fired shots at the trooper, with one bullet striking him in the left shoulder area at the edge of his shirt badge. The bullet just missed the protective vest that Schulte was wearing. Schulte was able to return fire, took cover behind his vehicle, and continued to give verbal commands to the suspect. Schulte was able to notify Kansas Highway Patrol dispatchers of the situation, and he also notified the Hays Police Department dispatch.
At the ceremony, Schulte was told by Garcia, “You showed quick thinking, decisive actions, and bravery while encountering a suspect using deadly force. I know it was a difficult situation. Your actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Patrol, and I commend you for your courageous actions.”
Frey was given the Superintendent’s Award in recognition of his efforts on Jan. 16, when he was involved in a pursuit with a vehicle occupant firing at him. Frey had checked on a vehicle in the Sherman County eastbound rest area of I-70 and found the registration did not match the vehicle. While talking with the individuals from the vehicle, the driver sped away. Early in the pursuit, the driver stopped the vehicle in an attempt to get Frey to approach, with the intent of shooting the trooper. Frey didn’t approach, and the pursuit continued on eastbound I-70. During the pursuit, Frey’s vehicle was fired upon by the passenger. A round struck the windshield of Frey’s car. Frey continued to pursue the vehicle, and took extra steps to warn and protect all other law enforcement units involved as to what was occurring. In one instance, Frey was heard warning another trooper to seek cover as that trooper deployed stopsticks. The suspects did fire at, and strike that trooper’s vehicle as they passed. Upon receiving supervisory approval, as the pursuit left the interstate, Frey returned fire on the suspects’ vehicle, ending the pursuit. Both suspects were taken into custody without further incident. When Frey noticed the driver had received a gunshot wound, an ambulance was summoned and transported the suspect.
“You showed quick thinking, decisive actions, and bravery in bringing the pursuit to an end and taking the dangerous suspects into custody,” Garcia said to Frey as he presented the award. “Your actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Patrol, and I commend you for your courageous actions.”