Brandon Moore nominated for AMW’s “All Star Award”
By RANDA WAGNER -
Morrow County Sheriff Deputy Detective Brandon Moore is one of six national candidates nominated for the “America’s Most Wanted” 2012 All-Star Award. This is the eighth year for the award designed to give special recognition to police, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders who are dedicated to ‘serve and protect.’
Moore was shot five times by Shane Roush on Oct. 21, 2010 after a dispute between Roush and landowner Jeff Levering on CR 179.
America’s Most Wanted Host John Walsh will present the 2012 All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in May. The winner also receives a trip to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Challenge at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
Nominations this year came from groups and agencies around the United States. The National Sheriff’s Association nominated Moore, who knew nothing of it until Sheriff Steve Brenneman called him March 30 and told him to get in contact with AMW. Moore was nominated last year along with about 20 other competitors.
To prepare for the competition, AMW will run a segment on each candidate prior to the announcement of the winner. The Morrow County Sheriff’s office was the setting last Thursday for filming interviews with officers to be aired on America’s Most Wanted this Spring. Ohio HD Video of Columbus was hired by AMW to conduct the interviews, and they spent much of April 5 performing individual sessions with Brenneman, Sgt. Rob Chalfant and Det. Moore, and filming a partial re-enactment in the soybean field where the incident took place.
“It definitely caught me off guard — I had no idea anyone nominated me again this year,” Moore said. “I found out Friday — the sheriff called and told me I needed to get in contact with America’s Most Wanted, and it all happened fast.”
Moore returned to work about four weeks ago with no doctor’s restrictions. He is back as a detective handling mostly burglaries, property crimes and thefts, a role he is comfortable in.
The film crew set up in three locations in the sheriff’s office and asked each officer specific questions. Interviewer Chris Martin started with Sheriff Brenneman, asking what specifically makes Det. Moore such a special deputy?
“Number one is his faith,” Brenneman responded. “He has a great faith in God. He has a commitment to his faith, family and the job here. “
Brenneman spoke of Moore’s positive attitude and personal motto where he tells himself each morning as he prepares for work, ‘Not me — not today: I’m going home.’
“From this incident it shows he definitely stands out on that,” Brenneman said. “To be shot four times, go down and then returning fire to disable his assailant — that’s incredible. A lot of people in these situations get shot and give up. Brandon didn’t give up — he fought back — he was going home.”
When asked why Brenneman thought Moore is all ‘All-Star,’ the sheriff responded, “He was able to maintain a ‘calm’ until help could get there — he took action for himself.”
Brenneman commended Moore’s mindset in the hospital saying a lot of people not only give up, they will become bitter and be mad a the world.
“Brandon made a choice in the first week in the hospital — I can be bitter or I can use this to my betterment,” the sheriff recalled. “He’s back to work with no limitations after a year and a half when he was told if he came back at all, it would be three years. He has a drive, dedication to survive and be there for his family and community.”
Sgt. Rob Chalfant was first on the scene after the shooting that day in October. He was asked what stood out in his mind about the aftermath.
After handcuffing the suspect and his wife, the sergeant said he moved on to Moore, who was sitting on the ground close to his vehicle.
“He had a tourniquet on his leg and was applying pressure to a lower abdominal wound,” Chalfant said. “I asked, ‘Why didn’t you answer when I called?’ He had a bullet in his lung and couldn’t yell when I called for him. I asked him if he was alright. He said he was doing okay, and asked for the phone so he could call his wife. His ‘duty phone’ had been blown to bits.”
Chalfant said, as Moore’s supervisor, Brandon was ‘like family.”
“It was like one of my kids got hurt,” he said. He was impressed at the accuracy of Moore’s returned fire at the distance it was made.
“He was able to put the suspect down to where he didn’t hurt anyone else, because (Roush) actually turned and started to fire on the Leverings,” Chalfant told interviewers. “He put the tourniquet on his leg and applied pressure to his wound. When I got to him, there wasn’t much left for me to do (with him) until the medics got there. The scene was secure.”
After a year and a half, the incident is still clear in Moore’s memory.
“I didn’t see him come out from behind,” Moore said of Roush. “When I heard those first three shots, the first thing I thought was, this is really happening; those (bullets) are coming at me. Somebody’s trying to kill me.”
The interviewer asked Det. Moore what was going through his mind while ‘all that’ was happening?
“So many things went through my mind,” Moore responded, “mostly — will I ever see my wife and kids again? Did I tell the dispatcher I am back in the field and not in the driveway? Things like that. I was trying to run away from the sound of the gunfire. But when my leg broke and I hit the ground, that sort of ‘flipped the switch’ to tell me, you have no choice — you have to fight back now.”
He recalled without even thinking about it, he realized he was getting his gun out of the holster and preparing to fight back.
When asked what he did after the gunfire ceased and he was waiting for backup, Moore said, “By then I realized there were short odds in a shootout like that and that I honestly shouldn’t be alive, I laid there and sang a praise song to God because I was so thankful I was still alive. I had a good feeling that I would make it to the hospital.”
Moore said he estimates it was about six minutes from the time the shooting started to when backup arrived and, “to hear the siren coming down the road when I’m laying there bleeding onto a soybean field, was a good feeling.”
Why return to the job? Moore was asked.
“After a year and a half of physical therapy three days a week and lifting weights, the challenge for me to return to work was Shane Roush tried to take something from me he had no right to take — not only my life but my way of life,” Moore said. “The way I see it is, if I can get back to work and I don’t, then I’ve been defeated: and I don’t want to be defeated and give up.”
Roush eventually pleaded guilty and received a 25-year sentence for the assault on Moore and the Levering family.
Moore became the first Ohioan to be awarded a Congressional Badge of Bravery on January 12, 2012 and was chosen as the Charles “Bud” Meeks Deputy Sheriff of the Year from the National Sheriff’s Association in 2011.
Supporters can vote for Moore online once a day (per email address) for Moore at www.amw.com/allstar/2012.
Note: Three color photos accompany this article in the April 11 print edition of the Sentinel.