IDFG officer awarded Idaho Medal of Honor for assisting officers with shooting

IDFG Conservation Officer Randy Martinez
Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 17:04:40-05

An Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer was awarded the Idaho Medal of Honor for assisting a local sheriff's department with a shooting.

Conservation Officer Randy Martinez, working in a district that includes New Meadows/Council areas, assisted Adams County Sheriff's deputies with a shooting on March 29, 2020.

Two Adams County Sheriff's deputies, Nikki Sauerland and Randall Benavides were pinned behind their vehicles. William James was firing at them from a nearby shed. Martinez got a handgun from his vehicle, jumped a highway boundary fence and found cover in a ditch. Once he saw James, Martinez gave direction to the deputies and watched as James moved towards them, still firing his weapon.

Martinez shot several rounds at James, causing him to stop shooting and run. He jumped a nearby fence and disappeared. Martinez followed James and stopped another deputy from reaching a potential line of fire. He later helped evacuate a neighborhood and establish a perimeter.

Martinez was able to use a back-up officers radio to give a suspect description and direction of travel, according to IDFG. His assistance and actions "at great risk to his own safety and out of deep concern for his fellow law enforcement officers, likely saved lives," according to IDFG.

"Conservation Officer Randy Martinez’s actions were selfless and truly heroic,” Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever said in a statement. “I am very appreciative that he has been bestowed the Medal of Honor. Randy’s response went above and beyond the call of duty and epitomizes the dedication and commitment of Idaho’s peace officers. Officer Martinez’s recognition is a shining example that Idaho Fish and Game’s Conservation Officers are part of the “blue fabric” that is Idaho’s frontline peace officers, especially in rural Idaho.”

The medal, the state's highest honor, is given to six Idaho law enforcement officers, firefighters or EMS providers for "exceptional, meritorious conduct in the line of duty in a situation that may have resulted in death or serious injury."