The off-duty police officer who confronted – and ultimately killed – the man responsible for stabbing 10 people at a St. Cloud mall last fall has been honored as officer of the year.
Jason Falconer, a part-time police officer with Avon PD and formerly chief of police in Albany, was at Crossroads Center the night of Sept. 17. Authorities said he chased after and confronted Dahir Adan, ultimately shooting Adan multiple times as he lunged at Falconer with a knife.
Adan, 20 years old, died on the floor of the mall's Macy's. He'd been shot six times. All of the 10 people he'd stabbed lived.
At a ceremony Monday evening, Falconer was given the Minnesota "Officer of the Year" award by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. The honor is for those who show courage and put their life on the line, the St. Cloud Times reports.
Falconer "absolutely saved lives" by taking action that night, Avon Police Chief Corey Nellis said, according to WJON.
That's a sentiment officials were saying immediately after the attack as well, with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis noting Falconer "clearly prevented additional injuries and potentially loss of life. His heroic actions are exemplary.”
The investigation into the attack
The investigation also found the officer was "clearly" justified in using deadly force, Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said in October, with witnesses saying he repeatedly told Adan he was an off-duty officer, and showed his badge.
Investigators, including from the FBI, said Adan's attack was likely premeditated. They also said he was likely "radicalized" in some way, but didn't find any actual link between he and the Islamic State.