Officer Ambrose among those awarded Medal of Honor - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Officer Ambrose among those awarded Medal of Honor

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Officer Raul Gonzalez, Officer Marcus Starks, Police Commissioner William Fitchet and fallen Officer Kevin Ambrose -  they're some of Springfield's finest and Thursday night they were honored for actions that have saved lives.

At the forefront of the somber ceremony was Ambrose.

Nearly six months after he was viciously gunned down at a domestic call his family accepted the Medal of Honor on his behalf.

"Officers are what keep us safe at night... it's just been a huge tribute that everybody wants to remember him," said Ambrose's son Kyle Ambrose.

His fellow Springfield officers, Raul Gonzalez and Marcus Starks, also received the honor.

They were called to a State Street barber shop in April 2011, after escaped convict Tamik Kirkland opened fire, killing one bystander and wounding another.

Gonzalez was hit by a spray of bullets when Kirkland opened fire from the trunk of a car.

"We also think about that day, we think about that situation that we might have to get into a gun fight and we have to risk our lives, but we know that everyday that we go into work that we have to risk our lives," Gonzalez said.

Starks, who also helped arrest Kirkland, says that the award is bittersweet.

"Luckily us four walked away from it, it brings me to something bigger, Kevin," he said.

Fitchet was also saluted and given a medal for his role in a Ludlow stand-off this summer, after he stood for hours with a retired Springfield officer who was threatening to kill himself. Thanks to Fitchet, the man only walked away with a bullet wound.

"I'm proud of our officers, I'm proud of what they do, we've had some tragedies this year... but everybody has answered the bell and I'm proud of that," Fitchet said.

For many, the award ceremony is a reminder to honor those who protect and serve who are far too humble to recognize their heroic actions on their own.

"They're sentinels of peace, but all they'll say is they're just doing their job, but Kevin gave his life," Mayor Domenic Sarno said.

Lt. Alberto Ayala as well as State Trooper Stephen Gregorczyck were also honored but could not attend.

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