Off-Duty Cop Who Stopped St. Cloud Jihadist Named Officer of Year
Avon police officer Jason Falconer might have been off-duty last September 17 but he was in the right place at the right time. When Dahir Adan, a Somali refugee and student, went on a stabbing rampage at Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Falconer, a firearms training instructor and cop, knew what to do.
This week Jason Falconer was recognized by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association as the officer of the year for his bravery in ending a terrorist attack that received international attention.
The highest honor bestowed by the association is given annually to an officer who has demonstrated “courage in dangerous or emergency conditions which results in a successful resolution of the situation,” the group’s declaration reads.
Falconer, 44, confronted 20-year-old Somali refugee Dahir Adan and fatally shot the St. Cloud State University student after Adan stabbed 10 people in the Crossroads Center.
Along with his duties in Avon, Falconer is a medal-winning marksman who operates a firearms training business in the neighboring town of Waite Park.
On the day after the attack, which the FBI classified as an act of terror inspired by radical Islamic groups, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said that Falconer’s “life was clearly in danger” during what had been an uneventful shopping trip for him.
Officer Falconer responded by the book, preventing further bloodshed.
Falconer ordered Adan to the ground. Adan complied, but within seconds stood and lunged at Falconer with the knife.
Falconer, who is a firearms instructor and competitive shooter, fired his handgun while retreating from a charging Adan. Falconer showed Adan his badge and announced that he was an off-duty police officer while circling Adan to make sure people in the store were not in his line of fire.
Adan got back up and walked toward and then charged Falconer, who shot Adan again.
Falconer was also recently named the 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the National Rifle Association for his heroic actions.
“I am humbled to join the 5 million members of the National Rifle Association in honoring Officer Falconer as the 2016 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for bravery, quick-thinking and heroism,” said NRA President Allan D. Cors. “Officer Falconer is the ultimate example of a law enforcement professional and responsibly armed citizen defending himself and protecting those around him from harm.”