Indianapolis police officer fatally wounded in shootout receives Medal of Honor, Purple Heart


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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis police officer killed in a gun battle with a man armed with an assault rifle was remembered Thursday as a man who made the city safer and as "a nice guy."

Officer Perry Renn, who died Saturday night, was awarded the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart during a flag ceremony before the start of visitation Thursday at Crown Hill Funeral Home. He also had been awarded the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Medal of Bravery twice in his career of more than 20 years.

"By putting on his uniform and going to work every day, Perry made this a great place to live," Police Chief Rick Hite said during the ceremony also attended by Mayor Greg Ballard, police command staff and Renn's family.

Gov. Mike Pence is among the dignitaries expected to attend Renn's funeral Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The officer's father, David Renn, asked the public not to be sad but to take pride in his son.

"He always made me proud of him," the elder Renn said.

David Renn said those paying their respects to him at the funeral home included one of the four daughters of Gary Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield, 47, who was found slain in his patrol car Sunday morning. Renn did not provide the name of the daughter. Westerfield's funeral is scheduled for Monday in Gary.

Those mourning Renn also included Lisa Fox, who recalled the officer giving her $5 once as she stood at an intersection with a cardboard sign asking passersby for help because she was struggling.

"He was just a nice guy," she said.

IMPD Lt. Tom Black said he worked with Renn for many years.

"Perry, he was a dream, basically, as far as a supervisor goes. He knew his job; he went out there and did his job. He was a self-motivator," Black said.

Authorities have said Renn and other officers were responding to a call of shots being fired on the city's north side when he exchanged gunfire with Major Davis Jr., 25. Davis hit Renn with three rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle.

Davis has been charged with murder. He remained hospitalized Thursday recovering from his own gunshot wounds. Online court records do not show an attorney for him.

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