May 14, 2009 - Rockford Post Troopers Receive Bravery Award
At a special ceremony today in Lansing, Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Colonel Peter C. Munoz presented Trooper Roberto Anaya Jr. (top photograph) and Trooper Christopher Bommarito (bottom photograph) of the Rockford Post with the MSP Bravery Award. Anaya and Bommarito are credited with risking their lives to protect others.
While on patrol in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2009, Anaya and Bommarito stopped a suspected drunk driver in the parking lot of a nightclub. While making contact with the driver, they were alerted to a shooting inside the club. Upon entry to the club, the troopers encountered the gunman. They instructed him to drop his weapon, but he ignored their commands and fired at them.
In defense of themselves and other citizens still inside the club, the troopers returned fire, striking the gunman. The gunman then fled the club on foot with Anaya and Bommarito in pursuit. When they observed the subject attempting to reload, Bommarito engaged him in gunfire, eventually ending the threat. As Bommarito summoned emergency medical service, Anaya disarmed the subject and took him into custody.
Upon reviewing this incident, the MSP Board of Awards determined the heroic actions of Anaya and Bommarito, and their willingness to ignore their own personal safety and well-being, were instrumental in saving the lives of countless citizens.
Anaya, a native of Britton, enlisted in the department in 1984, graduating as a member of the 98th Trooper Recruit School. Prior to his assignment at the Rockford Post, he served at the Erie and Detroit posts, as well as the Criminal Investigation Division. Anaya has been a negotiator for the MSP Emergency Support Team for 21 years. He currently resides in Rockford with his wife and six children.
Bommarito, a native of Sterling Heights, enlisted in the department in 1996, graduating as a member of the 114th Trooper Recruit School. Prior to his assignment at the Rockford Post, he served at the Jonesville and Metro South posts. Bommarito holds a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and is a veteran of the United States Army. He currently resides in Rockford with his wife and two children.
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