MADISON, Wis. - A woman was given the Madison Police Department’s highest civilian honor at an awards ceremony, Tuesday night. Julie Connors played a vital role in saving the lives of several residents at a group home in Madison in 2016.
Connors was working at the home on Madison’s east side when co-worker Ali Hassan showed up unannounced and shot and killed another aide. Hassan then turned his attention to Connors.
“He leveled a handgun straight at her and fired multiple rounds,” Madison police Chief Mike Koval explained at the event. “Later, it was determined that Julie sustained 10 bullet holes to her body.”
Despite her injuries, Connors dragged herself to a phone and called 911. Hassan caught her but Connors continued to fight and ran to help a patient who had fallen out of a wheelchair.
“She knew at that moment it was up to her to protect those vulnerable residents from him,” Koval said. “Once police arrived, she approached the officers, identified the suspect and provided a description before being transported to the hospital."
A year and a half later, Hassan is in prison for murder. Connors has a hard time talking about the shooting but came to the MPD awards ceremony.
“When you think about someone who is said to be a hero, you’d like to think that you’d be the person, but Julie knows she is that person,” said Pat Connors, Julie’s father.
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