|Durham native awarded commendation medal for heroic actions|
|Published Sunday, May 2, 2021|
RALEIGH – Last December, a disgruntled man began tampering with electric boxes and shutting off power to various storefronts within a strip mall in Greensboro. The situation quickly escalated and the disgruntled man became a disgruntled shooter. He fired shots into Navy Recruiting Station Greensboro and the adjacent Marine Corps recruiting station.
Last month, Navy Utilitiesman Petty Officer 1st Class Ivey Brooks, a Durham native, and Operations Specialist Petty Officer 2nd Class Quincy Smith, from Barnesville, Georgia, were awarded Navy Commendation Medals for heroic action during the shooting. Their commitment to duty and application of their training led to police apprehension of the shooter quickly following the incident.
Brooks said Smith was on the intercom system speaking to a woman at the door while lights along the strip were being cut off. “She was from the learning center next door to us,” he said. “I heard her ask if our lights were on and then it was hard to hear because people were being loud, yelling in the background.”
Brooks proceeded outside to see what the lady was talking about. She informed him that someone was in the back cutting off power to the buildings. “We decided to watch our monitors for a bit,” said Smith. “Sure enough, after about five minutes, we saw a tall figure enter the screen and start messing with things behind our building.”
At that instance, Smith picked up the phone to call his chief and Brooks went to the back door to confront the man who claimed he was working. Brooks knew better and threatened to call the police if he didn’t leave. Soon thereafter, Brooks saw the man on the closed circuit television system walk past the front of the building and point a gun. Immediately, the two sailors heard the gunshots.
“I heard Brooks say, ‘they shooting!’” said Smith. “Then I just remembered my training. I got down low and made my way to a safe place where I could make the phone calls I needed to make.”
Brooks got himself into position to see the CCTV monitor. To his surprise, the shooter was still standing out front, smoking a cigarette, following the shots fired. “I could tell he was nervous,” said Brooks. “But he just stood there for like five minutes. We were able to give the police a full and complete detailed description of the guy.”
Local law enforcement arrived on the scene and quickly apprehended the shooter in a nearby parking lot. No one was injured during the shooting. However, it was an incident neither service member could have anticipated and neither will forget.
They also did not anticipate they’d be receiving Navy Commendation Medals for their roles in bringing the shooter to justice. “I don’t feel like a hero,” said Brooks. “We just did what we were supposed to do.”
Added Smith: “Heroes are the people I read about and I look up to. But I never imagined someone might consider me one someday myself.”
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 26 NTAGS and 64 Talent Acquisition Onboarding Centers that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the world. Their mission is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
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