Ceremony honors Madison police officers, civilians for heroism

Officer who confronted armed man at 2021 shelter shooting awarded Medal of Valor

MADISON, Wis. — The annual Madison Police Department award ceremony returned to the Monona Terrace in person Wednesday evening.

The event serves as a way to honor officers and community members for their acts of bravery and heroism.

“To the folks that are receiving awards tonight, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of our entire city, thank you for everything that you’ve done for Madison, and let me extend that to the entire MPD family,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

Among the awardees was Officer Morgan Youngquist, who received the department’s Medal of Valor, which Police Chief Shon Barnes said is awarded to those who put their own lives in danger and show exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty.

Youngquist was at the temporary men’s shelter on First Street on March 22 when gunshots rang out. Officers, including Youngquist, rushed inside, where they were confronted by a man armed with a gun. During the confrontation, Youngquist fired his gun.

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Court documents said the man, later identified as Ronald Stephens, shot another man at the shelter multiple times before fleeing. In March, Stephens reached a plea deal, according to online court records.

“[Youngquist] displayed bravery confronting an active shooter and ultimately saving the lives of those in that shelter,” Barnes said.

In addition to community and internal department awards presented during the event, several promotions were announced.