Two Area Officers Awarded by Governor Perry

Local Recipients:

  • Officer Tracy Sheets of College Station Police, seriously injured when her patrol car was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver.
  • Officer Cougan Dion Hignight from Caldwell Police, shot in the arm by a burglary suspect in a shootout in 2008.

To be eligible the critical incident must have occurred between September 1, 2003 and June 30, 2012, and the individual must not have previously received a Star of Texas Award.

Peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty were honored Friday morning by Governor Perry.

The governor was joined by Attorney General Greg Abbott, peace officers, first responders and families at the Star of Texas Award Ceremony.

“Over the past year, Texas has seen its share of disasters, and, once again, we were able to depend upon our best and brightest to come to our defense,” Gov. Perry said. “Every day, they are the ones ensuring a safe return home and that we make it to birthdays, weddings and graduations. The people we honor today were a part of a higher calling and helped make Texas a safer, stronger and better place to live.”

The Star of Texas Awards were created by House Bill 1937 in 2003 to honor and commemorate individuals who have made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders. The award was expanded in 2005 to include all peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

College Station Police officer Tracy Sheets was one of those given the Star of Texas award. She was seriously injured when her patrol car was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver. Her injuries where so severe she had to retire from the police force.

Officer Cougan Dion Hignight from Caldwell Police was also honored. He was shot in the arm by a burglary suspect in a shootout in 2008.

To be eligible for consideration for this year's awards, the critical incident must have occurred between September 1, 2003 and June 30, 2012, and the individual must not have previously received a Star of Texas Award.

This year’s Star of Texas Award recipients are as follows:

Emergency Medical First Responders Killed in the Line of Duty
Mike Hatley, East Texas Medical Center EMS
Michael Thomas Steffen, Northern Hudspeth County EMS

Firefighters Killed in the Line of Duty
Todd Wesley Krodle, Dallas Fire-Rescue Department
Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Wharton Volunteer Fire Department

Peace Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Jaime De Luna Padron, Austin Police Department
Karl McDonough, El Paso Police Department
Javier Arana Jr., Texas Department of Public Safety
Kevin Lee Aigner, Travis County Precinct #2 Constables Office

Firefighters Seriously Injured in the Line of Duty
Robert Paul Shuster, Department of Defense United States Air Force
Captain Darin Unruh, Houston Fire Department

Peace Officers Seriously Injured in the Line of Duty
Cougan Hignight, Caldwell
Steven Bryan Graham, Arlington Police Department
Michael Guetzke, Austin Police Department
Kenneth McDonnell, Austin Police Department
Robert McGowen, Austin Police Department
Gary Morrison, Austin Police Department
David Nordstrom, Austin Police Department
William Phipps, Austin Police Department
Melinda Robinson, Austin Police Department
Jennifer Stephenson, Austin Police Department
Frank R. Wilson, V, Austin Police Department
Carlos Vallejo, Austin Police Department
Bobby Vu, Austin Police Department
Guy Watkins, Austin Police Department
Gary Zumwalt, Austin Police Department
Cougan Dion Hignight, Caldwell Police Department
Aaron Beseda, Cleburne Police Department
Tracy Lynn Sheets, College Station Police Department
Daryl W. Anderson, Corpus Christi Department
Phillip Bintliff, Corpus Christi Police Department
Israel Carrasco, Corpus Christi Police Department
Enrique Roman, Corpus Christi Police Department
Douglas Rush, Corpus Christi Police Department
Jose Smith Jr. Corpus Christi Police Department
Kyle M. Louster, Dallas Police Department
Lloyd Whitaker, Dallas Police Department
Ronald Dane Workman, Dallas Police Department
Ricardo Lopez, El Paso Police Department
Vincent Garcia, Freeport Police Department
Clifford Hankins, Fort Worth Police Department
Osvaldo R. Gutierrez, Houston Police Department
Victor Wayne Hill, Houston Police Department
John Paul Horelica, Houston Police Department
Nainash S. Patel, Houston Police Department
Isidro Perez III, Houston Police Department
Jeffrey Lee Werner, Houston Police Department
Kevin James, Justin Police Department
Martin Anthony Flores, Round Rock Police Department
Jonathan Esquivel, San Antonio Police Department
Fredrick W. Bauer, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office
Justin Duck, Texas Department of Public Safety
Max Chris Honesto, Texas Department of Public Safety


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