Two Fresno County correctional officers wounded in a jail shooting in 2016 were honored by Sheriff Margaret Mims Thursday, along with other correctional officers and sheriff’s deputies who came to their aid.
Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan were shot by Thong Vang in September of 2016 during a confrontation with the armed felon in the downtown jail lobby.
Davila was present to accept a Medal Of Honor For Valor, along with a purple heart. Scanlan, who continues to recover from injuries, was represented by his daughter, Pauline, and son, Toamalama Scanlan Jr.
The shooting took place after Vang, a convicted rapist with a long history of violent criminal behavior, entered the lobby under the pretext of visiting an inmate, began acting in an unruly manner and pulled out a gun and began firing after he was asked to leave the lobby.
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Other correctional officers receiving Medal of Honor for Valor awards included Lt. Michael Porter and Sgt. Christopher Curran. Deputies who also rushed to the scene, Lt. Brandon Pursell and Sgt. Arley Terrence, received the honors as well. Correctional officer Michael Hanlin received a Medal of Valor for his part in the event, as did Sgt. Valerie Murray. Officer Lucia Fuentes was noted for her part with an Official Commendation for Valor.
The awards were presented at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in downtown Fresno.
The sheriff also honored other deputies for outstanding service, including Richard Antunez, who was able to subdue a domestic violence suspect armed with two knives without firing his handgun; deputies Jonas Motter and Robert Pulkownik, who saved the life of a drunken driving suspect who crashed into a canal; Andrew Simonson, who pulled a man from a burning vehicle after a crash on Highway 180; Corey Holston, who pulled to safety a man trapped in raging flood waters, and correctional officer Michael Mendoza, who saved a fellow officer from choking.