The chair of the Prince George's County Council wants to "make right what was wrong" for a former police officer, Mirian Perez, who says she held Detective Jacai Colson as he died.
Colson was shot and killed by a fellow police officer in March 2016, just seconds after he helped to take down an armed gunman. Several officers were recognized for their efforts to save Colson that day, but Perez says she was erased from the story.
After seeing News4's report Friday about Perez, Prince George's County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins says he wants to make things right for Perez in a public ceremony.
"It was so profoundly powerful that I stopped what I was doing and I was so emotionally moved by it," Hawkins said.
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"You've done a lot of great stories, but that one there, you could not watch that and not feel for her and all she had gone through to get to where she is now," Hawkins said.
Perez was one of the officers who tried save Colson's life after he was shot.
She says she was dating Colson, and he was on his way to bring her lunch at District 3 on the day that an active shooter attacked the police station. Perez rushed to the scene when she heard it all unfold over her police radio. By the time she arrived, Colson had already fired the shots that stopped the gunman.
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Seconds later, Officer Taylor Krauss shot Colson through a fence. According to court testimony, he had mistaken Colson for the active shooter, although the shooter was on the other side of the building. Colson can be heard yelling "police!" on Perez's dashcam as she arrived.
Hawkins said of News4's report, "Up until some of the things you shared in your story, I was not aware of the officer behind the fence as he called, 'I'm a police officer,' and all in that instance. It was unfortunate."
Perez recalled what happened after she got to Colson.
"I was shielding him with my body, and I was holding him, and I looked at him and he was still yelling, 'Police!' and I just looked at him and said, 'Baby, I got you'," she said.
Officers put Colson in the back of Perez's cruiser, and she rushed them to the Prince George's County Hospital as another officer performed chest compressions on him. He did not survive.
After Colson's death, Perez says she went into a spiraling depression. She requested medical disability due to her diagnosis of PTSD stemming from what happened that day. She applied for retirement disability and was approved by the medical board's hearing examiner, but never received the benefit.
The four other officers who worked to save Colson's life that day were awarded medals of valor. Colson's family received posthumous honors.
Although Perez drove Colson to the hospital in the back of her cruiser, she did not receive an award for her acts of valor.
"We need to do something publicly to recognize her valor in that instant and to know she held him as his last breath left his body," Hawkins said.
"We're going to make that right," he said. "We have to, we have to from her medical pension and everything, we have to make that right."
Hawkins does not have a date yet for when they're planning to honor Perez, but he says he wants it done quickly.
Perez says that after years of counseling, she is doing better. She’s moved out of Maryland and is now running a nonprofit that helps to support officers who have experienced trauma.
According to court testimony, the active shooter in the incident, Michael Ford, wanted police to shoot and kill him. In a video will, Ford asked his brothers to record the attack for social media.
Michael Ford was sentenced to 195 years in prison. His brothers were sentenced to 12 and 20 years, respectively, for their parts in the crime.
In grand jury testimony, the officer who shot Colson, Taylor Krauss, said he thought Colson was the active shooter. The grand jury found Krauss not criminally responsible for shooting Colson.
Krauss is no longer with the police department.