Tifton officer is the Top Cop in the nation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tifton, GA officer is the Top Cop in the nation

Top Cop: Dorminey McCrae Top Cop: Dorminey McCrae

By Dawn Hobby - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Officer Dorminey McCrae shot and wounded a robber who was holding a hostage at a Tifton grocery store last year.

He was summoned to the White House last week to be honored for his quick, life-saving actions and he got quite a surprise.

April 7th, 2008, an armed robber pulled a gun on the clerk at the Tifton Piggly Wiggly. As the robber held one cashier at gunpoint, another called 911.

 911 call: "Just come on, now. They got a gun in my manager's face.  Just come on, please."

Officer Dorminey McRae was one block away. He rushed to the store and went inside. "I looked toward the office and heard a guy yelling 'you've got 30 seconds, you've got 30 seconds,'" said McCrae.

Officer McCrae quickly realized the robber was holding a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint inside the store office. He snuck back, climbed up on an ice cream cooler and silently, desperately pleaded with the girl to make eye contact with him.

McCrae said, "Finally, she looked up and mouthed 'shoot him, shoot him.'  I couldn't yet because the gun was on her and I didn't want him to make a reflex movement and shoot her. I don't know how she knew what to do, but she moved just enough that the gun wasn't on her and I shot him."

The robber took a bullet to the forehead, his hostage escaped.

McCrae said, "I've told others it was like a chess game. He'd move, I'd move, he'd move, I'd move. Checkmate."

One year later, that night was remembered at the White House. McCrae and 10 other cops from around the nation were honored.

"Once we got there, they told us we would meet the Attorney General, Vice President and President in the Roosevelt Room," said McCrae.

But he wasn't expecting what happened when the group was honored at an awards ceremony that night.

"So we just sat back down and John Walsh of America's Most Wanted said there's one more guy who's going to be honored as the Top Cop chosen from the 10, and he called my name. I was like 'huh?'  And I received the award. It was a very humbling experience."

Humble is a word McCrae's boss uses to describe him. "He's told me, 'Chief, any other officers in that situation would have done the same thing.'

But it was him who did the right thing at the right time and it turned out good," said Chief Jim Smith.

"You don't really expect to encounter something like this, but in case you do, you're trained for it," said McCrae.

In October, Officer McCrae was among 19 Georgia public safety workers honored for heroism. He was given a medallion and his name was added to the Georgia Public Safety Monument in Forsyth.


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