Keeping a suspect at bay: Sheriff's Office sergeant awarded for doing 'what I had to do'

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk presents Sgt. Kristin Shiner with the Distinguished Public Service Award at a Nov. 14 ceremony at the Naples Hilton. 
  
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Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk presents Sgt. Kristin Shiner with the Distinguished Public Service Award at a Nov. 14 ceremony at the Naples Hilton. Submitted photo

Heroes come in many guises. The men and women of our public service agencies go above and beyond the call of duty, often with no recognition or acclaim, on a regular basis as they keep the rest of us safe and secure.

The Distinguished Public Service Awards, established nine years ago in a cooperative effort by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Naples Daily News, are designed to give those outstanding public servants a little of the recognition they deserve for their deeds and their efforts. This year's awards were presented in a ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel on U.S. 41, before a group of 225 chamber members and first responders.

This year's recipients are Lieutenant Bobby Allen (Collier County EMS), Sergeant Kristin Shiner (Collier County Sheriff's Office), Trooper John Catani (Florida Highway Patrol), Firefighter Manny Morales (East Naples Fire Control and Rescue District), and Corporal Carmine Marceno (Collier County Sheriff's Office).

Over the upcoming weeks, the Collier Citizen is highlighting each of the five recipients.

Collier County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kristin Shiner

Sergeant Kristin Shiner didn't have to respond and put her life in danger. She was off duty, at home, relaxing on her lanai in Cape Coral reading a book when she heard the sound of gunfire.

But she put down the book, grabbed her badge and her gun, and ran out in search of the source.

"I heard two shots. Not two quick repetitions, but a shot, a pause, and then a second shot," she said. "I saw a gentleman running down the road, screaming, 'Someone just shot my friend.' I knew someone would call 911."

She found the victim lying facedown in a driveway, with "very shallow respiration, and bleeding profusely. I got no response from him."

A neighbor, trained as a first responder, also showed up to try and help the victim, and credits Shiner with saving his life.

"After it was all over, I realized how close I came to getting shot," said Gene Snyder. "Somebody in the garage hollered, 'I'll shoot anyone who trespasses on my property."

Then Shiner heard a chilling sound.

"I heard the slide of a gun. That was a serious pucker moment," she said. Looking into the open garage door, she saw a man holding a gun. "I turned my attention to him," she said. Drawing her own weapon, she covered the man, and called out she was a deputy sheriff.

"I gave him orders, real specific – real loud. The third time I yelled he came out." Shiner held the shooter at gunpoint until Cape Coral Police Department units showed up in response to the 911 call.

"I am not surprised one bit she put down her book and went to investigate what was going on," said Commander Patricia Gifford of the Collier County Sheriff's Office. "That's just her personality. She has a very strong character."

Capt. Beth Richards of the Collier County Sheriff's Office said everything she knows of Shiner agrees with how she responded in a crisis situation.

"She has a reputation of not only dedication and professionalism, but also courage. She displays courage in her daily duties," said Richards. "So for her to run towards gunfire and not away from it…doesn't surprise me one bit."

When she is working, not facing down gunmen in her spare time, Shiner works at the Sheriff's Office correctional facility. Inside the jail, deputies don't carry firearms, and she had never had to draw hers in the line of duty. Shiner lives with four children, her own plus a niece she is trying to adopt.

"People said, 'You are a hero,' and I'd say, 'I didn't really do anything," said Shiner. "I just did what I had to do."

When things started moving very fast on that July day, her training kicked in, and she was too busy to experience any fear at the time, she said.

"I wasn't feeling scared. It's hard to explain to people who aren't in this line of work. I wasn't anxious. I wasn't nervous. I was just running through everything I've been trained to do."

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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