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Clewiston officers awarded medal of valor for diffusing hostage situation; here’s how

City council recognizes Sergeant Conyers and Officer Williams for their actions in resolving potentially lethal situation
Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 18:47:29-05

CLEWISTON, Fla. — On October 15th, what began as a welfare check for Clewiston Police quickly turned into diffusing a hostage situation.

Responding to a call on East Alverdez Avenue, Sergeant Lionel Conyers and Officer Eric Williams arrived at an apartment complex. They say the first thing they noticed was a screen being pushed out from an upstairs bedroom window, revealing a young woman, holding a baby, urgently whispering to Conyers, "He's got a gun, he's got a gun."

Concerned that someone dangerous might be hiding nearby, Officer Williams said he and Sergeant Conyers both took a moment to step back and assess the situation as he retrieved his long gun from his patrol vehicle.

Then, as the officers approached the apartment, they say they heard a man inside yelling, "I ought to kill ya'll." The officers say they then immediately entered the apartment and were confronted with an alarming scene.

"The male had the firearm pointed at the female and a baby," Officer Williams described the critical moment.

"At that point a lot of training kicked in, and everything told me at that point you've gotta do what you've gotta do," explained Sergeant Conyers.

The officers say they ordered the suspect to drop the weapon, which he did. "I knew I had to get the gun, make it safe. That's the only gun I'd seen at that point - so that's what I did," Officer Williams stated.

They arrested the man, Rogney Perez-Rodriguez, an ex-boyfriend of one of the victims. He now faces multiple charges, including assault with a deadly weapon.

On Monday, in recognition of their bravery in resolving the situation, the Clewiston City Council and Chief of Police awarded Sergeant Conyers and Officer Williams with the department's highest honor, the Medal of Valor.