It was about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2018, and Clackamas County Deputy Tyler Alexander was responding to a report from Welches of a suspicious person on East Welches Road. He arrived at the scene — just as the incident turned into a shooting.
The sound of gunshots and breaking glass filled the air. Deputy Alexander called for backup and made his way toward the house. He saw a man lying in the front yard, moaning in pain.
His name was Eddie Osborne. He was 25 years old, and he had been shot in the head.
Deputies Dan Olson, Gabe Adel, Rayce Belmont and Josh Brown arrived at the scene and closed East Welches Road. The deputies split into two-man teams and moved toward the target house. Deputy Olson attempted to direct Osborne to crawl out of the front yard, but he did not respond.
Working together, the deputies formulated a hasty rescue plan. Deputy Alexander covered the broken window with his rifle, while deputies Olson, Brown and Belmont approached Osborne, using the side of a patrol car as cover.
Deputies Olson and Belmont reached the victim and dragged him to safety, using their own bodies to shield him from potential gunfire.
They transported Osborne to medical personnel staged at a nearby Thriftway. Deputy Brown rode with the victim to the hospital. The victim survived. A suspect, Michael John Vavra, was arrested the following day.
Last week, the five deputies were presented with the Sheriff’s Medal of Valor, honoring acts of exceptional heroism.
“These deputies risked their lives to save this man,” it was said during Thursday’s award ceremony. “Their efforts were selfless and exhibit the very highest standards of our office. We’re honored to present them with our Medal of Valor.”