PITTSBURGH — A Vermont prosecutor who disarmed a woman accused of fatally shooting a social worker outside a state office building is one of 25 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the medal winners Wednesday.
Fifty-year-old Scott R. Williams, the state’s attorney in Washington County, Vermont, was recognized for his actions Aug. 7, 2015, when authorities say he grabbed a .270-caliber hunting rifle from Jody Herring after witnessing her shoot Lara Sobel outside the building in Barre.
Williams motioned for two men nearby to restrain Herring and then disabled the weapon, police and commission investigators have since determined. Both Williams and the 48-year-old Sobel worked in the office building.
Herring is jailed awaiting trial on charges she killed Sobel after first killing two cousins and an aunt earlier that day. Authorities say she apparently was angry about losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter. Herring has pleaded not guilty.
The commission is named for the late steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.
Three of those honored Wednesday died in rescue attempts; their families will receive their medals and the cash award that goes with them.
Dinah Keturia McGee, 67, of Greeneville, Tennessee, died attempting to rescue her disabled sister when their house caught fire July 20, 2015.
Michael J. Manley Sr., 43, of Wilmington, Delaware, drowned trying to save a teenager from drowning in strong currents off Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Sept. 27, 2015.
Kevin Scott Johnson II, 34, of Flat Gap, Kentucky, also drowned trying to save a woman whose mobile home was swept off its foundation by a flood on July 13, 2015.
The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $38.5 million to 9,893 awardees or their families since 1904.