OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Two Oklahoma deputies have received the Medal of Valor for their lifesaving decision at a shootout on New Year’s Eve in 2020.

On the evening of December 31, 2020, now-former Spencer Deputy, Dillon Pettus was dispatched to NE 52nd St. regarding a man, Hugo Alberto Gomez, attempting to kill his wife, Maria Isabel Ucles Aguilar, with a knife.

Upon arrival, Gomez was in the front yard with his hands in the air, telling Pettus he had a gun.

Gomez was detained shortly after by Pettus and Jones Deputy, David Cagle, who had recently arrived on scene.

Deputy Pettus reported he spoke with Aguilar and said she had red marks around her throat and a laceration to the bottom of her nose. She told Deputy Pettus there was another man upstairs in her home who “may be armed.”

After Gomez was put in the back of Deputy Pettus’s patrol vehicle for transportation to the Oklahoma County Jail, Pettus and Deputy Cagle made their way upstairs to investigate further.

As the two deputies went upstairs, they claimed to have heard the door knob attempt to open.

Deputy Pettus said they told the man on the other side not to open the door until one of the officers were at the top of the staircase.

“I then told the individual to open the door and to have his hands up in the air,” stated Deputy Pettus.

As the door swung open, Deputy Pettus told KFOR he witnessed the man, Jose Mardoque Lazaro-Valdez reach into what looked like a dresser.

“The guy produced a gun and fired a couple of shots at me,” said Deputy Pettus.

Deputies shot back at the shooter. Deputy Pettus reported shooting approximately four times into the wall where the suspect was.

According to an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Lazaro-Valdez was shooting at officers because he believed no one could legally enter his bedroom.

A fight-or-flight moment, Deputy Pettus broke through a window down the the hall and climbed onto the roof.

Deputy Pettus said he then flickered a flashlight through the window in which the suspect was standing by as an attempt to confuse and distract the shooter.

Instead of taking the second opportunity to shoot and kill Lazaro-Valdez, Deputy Pettus took a different route and tackled him to the ground.

Deputy Cagle managed to rush the room as well and knocked the gun out of Lazaro-Valdez’s hand.

No one was seriously injured in the shootout.

Because of the deputies’ de-escalation method, they were both awarded the Medal of Valor at the 2022 Oklahoma Chiefs of Police annual conference on July 8.

Deputy Pettus said he was first alerted to the news that he earned the award from a friend. He said although he’s appreciative and grateful for the recognition, he doesn’t think he deserves it because he was simply doing his job.

This is just one of three awards Deputy Pettus has received in his five years with law enforcement.

The case was investigated by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and has since been closed.

Lazaro-Valdez was charged with two counts shooting with intent to kill as well as assault and battery on a two police officers.

Gomez was arrested for aggravated assault.