Chicago police officer, Illinois State Trooper honored for bravery at 42nd Annual Valor Awards
CHICAGO - A ceremony awarding Illinois' finest took place Thursday night.
The 100 Club hosted the 42nd Annual Valor Awards.
The event recognizes first responders who risked their lives to protect and serve.
At Thursday's awards, a Chicago police officer who was shot, and an Illinois State Trooper who stopped a speeding car with his own vehicle, were awarded for their heroic acts.
"We weren't responding to a call, so when we walked in, we had no idea," said Chicago Police Officer Mark Bean.
SkyFOX captured the aftermath of a shooting in Lincoln Park on Oct. 18, 2021.
The victim was 24-year Chicago Police veteran officer Bean.
Bean and his partner were flagged down by beauty store employees. Inside, a woman said a man she was with had a gun.
"It was literally just my hands on that gun, get that gun, get that gun out of his hands, and that was it. It was simple," said Bean.
Officer Bean followed the man out to the parking lot, and a struggle ensued.
"At some point the gun went off three times, but the first time, I did notice some blood splatter, and I knew it was me," said Bean.
Bean was shot in the cheek. He never pulled his service weapon, and managed to hold the offender until help arrived. He later found out the woman had been kidnapped.
In another act of bravery, Illinois State Police Trooper Eric David used his own vehicle to stop two gunmen on Interstate 94, who were speeding away after shooting two people.
One of the victims died.
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"I used my squad car. I put it into the offending vehicle, and we were able to stop them, and take them both into custody right there," said David. "We just do our best to give everyone the same service and help anyway we can."
For nearly 50 years, the 100 club, which now serves the entire state of Illinois, has recognized these men and women for their incredible acts of bravery.
"A lot of times you hear the headline of carjacking or shooting, but you don't hear the story of how the first responders found out about that, what they had to do, how their lives were in danger during that time," said Caitlyn Brennan, 100 Club CEO.
The organization is known for assisting families of first responders killed in the line of duty, but recently they have added more assistance.
"Focusing on officer and firefighter mental health and wellness, resiliency, critical incident trauma training, debriefing, basically an entire wrap around of services," said Brennan.
The 100 Club offers a free app for first responders, where they can call in for help or access wellness webinars.
Departments can also request live training.