Good Samaritan honored for public service
It is rare that a civilian is honored at a law enforcement awards ceremony, but Theodore Edmond is no ordinary man.
The 63-year-old Maryland native was among a select group who received the 2012 Public Service Award Thursday. The award was given by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia—which falls under the U.S. Department of Justice.
Edmond, nationally recognized as a good Samaritan, was shot four times when he struck a gunman in the head with a bottle of Yuengling beer during a robbery attempt at a Carmel Church gas station in May 2010. Edmond, a former Marine, accepted the award along with six other law enforcement officers who worked the case.
“You are proof that there are angels in our midst and that heroes walk among us,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Roderick Young, who prosecuted the case, presented the award to Edmond.
Young said when he asked Edmond if the shooting impacted him negatively in terms of emotional distress or other symptoms, “He told me yes he was negatively impacted,” said Young. “He said he missed duck hunting season and rabbit hunting season and deer hunting season because of what happened.”
While honored by the award, Edmond said he didn’t need the recognition.
“The best reward for me is being able to go hunting again,” he said. “Turkey season started in Maryland on Wednesday, and it opens on Saturday in North Carolina. That’s all I want to do.”
Edmond’s wife, Evelyn, and his extended family were present to see him get the award.
Evelyn Edmond said she was proud of her husband for what he did, but not at first.
“I was so mad,” she said. “I asked him was he trying to make me a widow. But I’m very glad that that is the kind of man he is. He’s a very special man.”
On May 8, 2010, Edmond made his usual stop at the Mr. Fuel filling station in Carmel Church., where he said gas prices are low.
He said he walked right past the gunman, who was pointing what looked like a toy gun in the face of the frightened cashier.
“It looked like a plastic revolver you play cowboys and Indians with,” Edmond said in an earlier interview.
He said he tried to find something heavy to use as a weapon, as the frustrated gunman raised his voice at the woman, who couldn’t get the register open.
Then he heard two loud bangs from the gun and realized it was no toy.
He assumed the cashier was dead, and running out of time, grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on—a plastic bottle. Then he saw the Yuenglings.
Edmond said he was happy to see that the cashier was alive, as he crept up behind the man, whose voice was getting louder and louder. The first shots were intended as a warning, but he figured the next one would be fatal.
Edmond swung with one arm and hit the would-be robber in the back of the head before the two struggled.
Edmond fell to the floor, and the gunman stood over him and shot him four times, striking him in the head, shoulder and both legs.
“I don’t know why I’m not dead,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything.”
He said he thought the gunman had missed until he tried to stand up and noticed that his left leg wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. And that’s when he realized that all of the blood on the floor was his.
Edmond was transported to Mary Washington Hospital. He was released the next day.
He hadn’t planned to talk publicly about the event until his 83-year-old mother and his aunt told him that they saw on TV that the cashier wanted to meet him and thank him for saving her life.
He has met and befriended the cashier, Sharon Jo Conrad, and her manager, Wanda Miss, who have both moved out of state.
If he could relive that day, Edmond said, he wouldn’t do anything differently—except he would use a tire iron instead of a beer bottle.
The two Richmond men responsible for the robbery were sentenced in January.
Warren Harold Brown, 32, was sentenced to 51 years in prison, and Winston Sylvester Oliver II, 34, was sentenced to 52 years in prison by U.S. District Judge James Spencer.
Both men were convicted in September in federal court of conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery affecting commerce and two counts of using a firearm during a crime. They faced life in prison.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419
The other award recipients on this case were:
Marshal ‘Mac’ Ellet, detective with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office
Brian Scott Umphlet, special agent with the FBI
Linsey Bosnich, special agent with the FBI
Nicholas Bultinck, special agent with the FBI
Timothy Walker, detective with the Richmond Police Department
Andrew Boone, K-9 deputy with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office