York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs presented recently-promoted Investigator Danny Diaz the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association’s ‘Deputy Sheriff Valor Award’ on September 13 during the VSA’s annual conference in Tysons Corner.
Sheriff Diggs nominated Diaz earlier this year:
“During the beginning of his shift Deputy Diaz was in route to the Williamsburg area of York County. He overhead Deputy Shafer who was assisting a citizen with a disable vehicle in the median strip on Ft. Eustis Blvd., and Deputy Brown who also had a male subject stopped on the side of Ft. Eustis Blvd, Deputy Diaz decided to provide back up to Deputy Brown. While observing the suspect for Deputy Brown the suspect pulled out a handgun from his back waist band and presented it to Deputy Diaz. His quick actions ended the threat before either deputy was hurt. He also was involved in a high stress incident minutes later with a second suspect; which could have resulted in a second shooting. Below is a brief overview of the incident.
“While Deputy Brown was inside of his vehicle conducting a computer search on the suspect, Deputy Diaz was outside interacting with the suspect: he noticed the suspect was making movements that would arouse suspicion. It appeared he was either preparing to run or assault Deputy Diaz. Deputy Brown looked up and radioed to Deputy Diaz to watch the suspect because of the way he was acting. Shortly after that Deputy Diaz motioned for Deputy Brown to exit his vehicle. As Deputy Brown exited his vehicle, the suspect reached behind his right side and pulled a handgun from his waistband. Deputy Diaz’s training and experience allowed him to react faster than the suspect’s actions; he applied lethal force to the suspect before the suspect could return any fire. While this was going on the individual from the disabled vehicle ran up to the scene yelling at the deputies. He was told numerous times at gun point to stop by Deputies Shafer and Diaz. The second suspect continued towards the shooting scene and refused to comply. While yelling at the deputies the second suspect quickly moved his hand towards his waist band as if he was going to retrieve a weapon but he pulled up his shirt to expose an empty waistband. This action was observed by both deputies and Deputy Diaz decided to deescalate the situation and used his Taser on the suspect and while Deputy Shafer detained him.
“Based on this incident Deputy Diaz, while on patrol, was placed in a combat situation with armed adversary. The assailant’s actions posed a serious threat of death to Deputy Diaz and other deputies in the area. Deputy Diaz’s quick thinking and actions resulted in no casualties to Law Enforcement personnel or the public. As a result of these actions, I hereby request that Investigator Danny Julio Diaz be the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office nomination for the Virginia Sheriff’s Association ‘2016 Deputy Sheriff Valor Award’ for his extraordinary judgement, bravery and lifesaving actions resulting in the resolution of this incident.”