President Trump presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to Ohio State Police officer Alan Horujko at a White House ceremony Wednesday afternoon, in honor of his actions stopping an attack at the university in November 2016.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest honor for bravery shown by public safety officers in the U.S.
"Of the more than 2 million who serve everyday across the country, only about a dozen receive this honor each year," U.S. Attorney General William Barr said as he introduced the ceremony.
On Nov. 28, 2016, 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove into a crowd outside Watts Hall at Ohio State University and attacked people with a knife. Artan injured 13 people before being fatally shot by Horujko.
"Thanks to Alan's swift action, not a single innocent person that day died," Trump said to applause. "There were some very badly injured people. However, Officer Horujiko, we are forever grateful. Thank you very much."
The attack triggered the university's automatic emergency response system and resulted in a campus shutdown. Police later said Artan was likely radicalized by a Muslim cleric with ties to Al Qaida and ISIS.
“All I knew was people were being hurt, and I didn’t like that," Horujko said in a video produced by Ohio State.
He went on to describe his interaction with Artan: “I yelled after him multiple times, ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ But he never looked back at me. He never acknowledged me.”
A grand jury cleared Horujko of the shooting the following May.
In July 2017, Horujko received the "Finest Law Enforcement Officer award from the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. He also received the "Distinguished Law Enforcement Valor Award" from the Ohio Attorney General's Office that same year, while five other Ohio State Police officers won the "Distinguished Law Enforcement Training Award."
Trump, then president-elect, met with the victims of the attack in December 2016.