At today's Big Spring Rotary Club meeting, Corporal Hope Hohertz, Texas Highway Patrol–Big Spring, was recognized for receiving a Medal of Valor, the highest honor and award bestowed by DPS for ending a violent standoff with an armed and dangerous suspect back on December 26th, 2016.
It was on that day that Corporal Hohertz overheard a Big Spring Police Department dispatch report of a subject with a gun at the AT&T store on Gregg St., and responded to assist a Big Spring Police Department Officer in a traffic stop of the suspect. The non-compliant suspect, later identified as then 60-year-old Raul Reyes, was armed with a handgun and rifle, and pointed a handgun with a silencer at Corporal Hohertz, who responded by firing at the suspect.
As more officers arrived, the subject fled the scene in his vehicle. Hohertz successfully located the suspect just as he exited his vehicle with the semi-automatic rifle. The suspect fired 28 rounds at responding officers, forcing Hohertz and Big Spring Police Officers to take cover. With officers at the scene in imminent danger, Corporal Hohertz took decisive action when the suspect tried to reload his weapon, and she opened fire with her shotgun, wounding the suspect and bringing the standoff to an end.
Multiple loaded handgun and semi-automatic rifle magazines were found in the vehicle. Reyes was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Medal of Valor has only been awarded to 18 other people, and Cpl. Hohertz is the first female to receive the award. She later went on to win Southern Trooper of the Year for this heroic act.
When she spoke to the Rotary Club, she pointed out that everyone of the officers who were there that day were just there to do their job because that's what they're trained to do. Cpl. Hohertz also stated that everyone who puts on the uniform is aware of the risks they face and that they're biggest goal everyday is to make it home to their families.
During her speech, she noted that West Texas offers the greatest support that she's seen as a Trooper, both through local law enforcement and support for local law enforcement.