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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Holladay Honors Officers

Apr 07, 2016 12:35PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected] 

Cottonwood - Holladay - The Holladay City Council honored Officer Jon Richey, Officer Matthew Brownlee and Sgt. Ben Steiner during the city council meeting on Feb. 18. The officers were honored for their bravery during the shooting of Officer Doug Barney on Jan. 17. 

“We’ve had discussions about an issue that has possibly been overlooked and that is it could’ve been much worse,” Mayor Rob Dahle said. “Had that situation not been contained and contained very quickly, if Mr. (Cory) Henderson (the suspect) had not been contained and had been out in the community, heaven knows what would have become of that situation.” 

Dahle said the council wanted to recognize the bravery they showed, how rapidly they reacted to that situation and the actions they took. 

Only Richey was able to attend the event. Brownlee was out of town, and Steiner is preparing for a yearlong tour in Afghanistan with the Marine Reserves. 

Councilmember Sabrina Petersen read the official resolution honoring the police officers. 

“The municipal council of the city of Holladay express our sincere gratitude for the exceptional valor and professionalism by Officer Matthew Brownlee, Officer Jon Richey and Sgt. Ben Steiner,” Petersen said. “The citizens of the city of Holladay are forever indebted to you for the selfless acts of courage exhibited on that fateful day.”

Holladay Chief of Police Don Hutson also praised the trio for their actions. 

“I don’t think it can be over emphasized how critical the actions were to mitigate the circumstance,” Hutson said. “As horrible and tragic as it was, it could’ve been much, much worse.” 

Hutson said the incident is still under investigation by the Salt Lake City Police, and more details will come out in the next couple of weeks. 

“Suffice to say, this person who showed a willingness to shoot a police officer and then the officers who immediately responded and found their comrade who had been shot, to willingly chase after that person when they know he still has a gun and to have officers contain him in less than a block of the original incident occurred and get in a massive shootout and ultimately stop that threat, it’s nothing less than heroic,” Hutson said. “I appreciate the Holladay City Council for their recognition of that.”

Hutson relayed messages from Brownlee and Steiner, who thanked both the city council and Holladay residents. 

“They typically shy away from the spotlight, and they certainly have never sought recognition, but they truly do appreciate it,” Hutson said.

Barney, 44, was shot and killed on Jan. 17 in Holladay after responding to a traffic accident near 4500 South and 2300 East. Barney approached the pair who had left the scene; the male suspect Henderson shot Barney in the head. He later died at the hospital. 

Officers responded to the scene where a gunfight immediately broke out. Richey was shot and taken to the hospital where he recovered from his injuries. During the shootout, Henderson was shot and killed. The female suspect got away but later turned herself in to police. 

Barney’s funeral was held Jan. 19, and he was later buried in Orem. Thousands attended the services, including police officers from all over the state and the country.