The off-duty police officer who stopped a knife-wielding attacker in a St. Cloud mall last September was named officer of the year by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.
Jason Falconer, an officer in Avon, Minn., received the honor Monday in St. Cloud.
The highest honor bestowed by the association is given annually to an officer who has demonstrated “courage in dangerous or emergency conditions which results in a successful resolution of the situation,” the group’s declaration reads.
Falconer, 44, confronted 20-year-old Somali refugee Dahir Adan and fatally shot the St. Cloud State University student after Adan stabbed 10 people in the Crossroads Center.
Along with his duties in Avon, Falconer is a medal-winning marksman who operates a firearms training business in the neighboring town of Waite Park.
On the day after the attack, which the FBI classified as an act of terror inspired by radical Islamic groups, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said that Falconer’s “life was clearly in danger” during what had been an uneventful shopping trip for him.
Adan was dressed in a security guard uniform when he went on a rampage, stabbing a pregnant woman in the parking lot, then a father and son in the mall, a clerk in an electronics store and six others.
A surveillance camera caught Adan’s last moments, when he charged Falconer. Video showed Falconer shooting once and the attacker falling and getting back up three times.
St. Cloud Police Chief William Anderson said soon after the incident, “This could have been much, much worse” if not for Falconer’s “swift and direct” response to the chaos.