APD officer awarded Congressional Badge of Bravery

The Austin police officer who took out a gunman on a murderous rampage at the Omni Hotel was given a prestigious honor. U.S. Senator John Cornyn traveled to town to present Officer Carlos Lopez with the Congressional Badge of Bravery.

On the morning of July 5, 2015 calls for help were made from the Omni Hotel in Downtown Austin.

911 Call: "Please send me somebody. There is someone with a gun. He wants to shoot us."

Michael Holt, armed with a rifle and a clip full of ammunition, can be seen on video pointing a rifle at an employee at the front desk. Minutes later he shoots and kills a cab driver who comes through the front doors.

Police dash camera video: "Shots fired. Shots fired."

Officer Carlos Lopez was among the officers who responded. Interim Chief Brian Manley recounted Lopez's actions.

"The suspect from inside the hotel fired his rifle at Officer Lopez multiple times. He fired this rifle through the glass doors at the front of the hotel. Office Lopez could feel the flying glass hitting his body,” said Manley.

Manley says Lopez continued to pursue Holt, who by that point had killed cab driver Conrad Contreras.

"Officer Lopez went through the windows that had just been shot out by the suspect, chasing him into the hotel running into a very dangerous hotel and towards gunfire,” said Manley.

Lopez fatally shot Holt ending the threat.

On Friday Lopez, who is also a Marine Corps veteran, was honored for his service.

"Officer Lopez is a man of real character with a an innate sense of duty to his community and our country,” said Cornyn.

While his young son and parents looked on, U.S. Senator John Cornyn presented Lopez with the congressional badge of bravery.

"It's truly an honor to be recognized. I think there's a lot of us that shy away from this type of recognition but it's important to look at these cases and show we're there to provide security for the city,” said Lopez.

While Lopez remains humble, his father was beaming with pride.

"I'm very proud. Very proud of him,” said Ricardo Lopez. "He doesn't say a whole lot, but he does a whole lot."

"I just want to again express my heartfelt thanks for your heroism that day and representing the best of what the men and women who wear this uniform do every single day,” said Manley.

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