Police Chief Honors Local Heroes at Reno Council Meeting - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Police Chief Honors Local Heroes at Reno Council Meeting

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The Reno Police Department honored two people Wednesday who helped foil a bank robber in October of last year.

During the foiled robbery, police say 66-year-old Van McDuffie shot and killed 80-year-old Charles Sperry, who tried to stop the October 16th Bank of America robbery.

"He obviously saved several lives that day," said Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts. "Unfortunately, we lost him in the bank robbery."

McDuffie fled - and Officer German Rodriguez - who was off duty at the time - followed the suspect to the Meadowood Mall bus stop, where he was later arrested.

Chief Pitts awarded the Medal of Commendation to Charles Sperry during Wednesday's council meeting. His widow, Milka, accepted the honor on his behalf. She talked about his military service to the crowd.

"He left us in a good way to defend somebody that he would do as a Marine," she said. 

Charles' son, Joe says the family was humbled by the honor.

"Every day, I'm more proud of him," he said. "We're blessed, I think, to live in a good community where people really reach out to us."

Pitts also awarded the Medal of Valor to Officer Rodriguez and gave life-saving awards to three other officers including Officer Anthony Della for saving a stabbing victim's life after responding to an altercation at the corner of Second and Lake Streets.

Downtown Enforcement Team Officers Brian Bocchese and Adam Blount came to the aid of a homeless man who was on fire.

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