A Clearwater Police officer who shot back at a suspect who opened fire during a foot chase was honored for bravery during a ceremony this week.
Officer Karl Wassmer, a 13-year veteran, shot Julius Larrance during a foot chase at the Palmetto Park Apartments July 25. Wassmer and another officer were trying to apprehend Larrance for outstanding warrants when he fired at Wassmer.
Wassmer fired back despite being hit by a bullet fragment in his foot from the suspect's gun. Wassmer was not seriously hurt.
The actions saved Wassmer and the other officer and is the reason Wassmer was honored for bravery as the Outstanding Officer of the Year at the 36th annual Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation ceremony Wednesday.
It is Clearwater Police's highest honor.
Fire Medic Brad Keating and Sgt. Kevin Insco were honored by the Rotary Club of Clearwater with its 2012 Rotary Public Safety and Service Awards for their commitment to community service during personal time.
Keating provided humanitarian and medical aid and training to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty, according to a release. At his own expense, Keating traveled on numerous medical relief teams to disasters throughout the world including in Haiti and Japan, where he helped victims of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. He continues those trips and revisits disaster areas yearly to provide continued assistance and training. Keating also helps raise money to help those in need. He ran in the New York City Marathon to help raise $3,000 dollars for the charity Malaria No More in November 2011.
Sgt. Kevin Insco was honored for his commitment to volunteering. He serves on the board of the Countryside Junior Cougars organization as security director, overseeing the safety of those involved with the group, according to the release. Insco also coaches football and takes on other volunteer roles as needed.