Hermann officers shot last spring honored at U.S. Capitol

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WASHINGTON – It was a day Jennifer Griffith and her son, Karson, will always remember.

The two flew to Washington, D.C., where 13 Missourians were being honored for their service, sacrifice, and success.

The recognition is part of a new Champions of Missouri program, launched by U.S. Senator Eric Schmitt.

Among the honorees were Detective Sgt. Mason Griffith and his partner, Officer Adam Sullentrup, of the Hermann Police Department. The two were shot while making an arrest in March 2023. Griffith died. Sullentrup continues to recover from critical injuries.

On Wednesday morning, Schmitt introduced the Champions initiative and thanked the two officers for their service.

Schmitt told FOX 2 he wanted to deliver a key message to the Hermann officers’ families.

“It’s important for them to know that they’re appreciated and the work that Sgt. Griffith did in his community and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “We need more people like that in this world.”

Jennifer Griffith said the recognition is fitting for her husband.

“He was awesome. He did so much for everyone. He always went above and beyond for everyone, no matter what he did,” Jennifer said.

It was also an honor to witness for Lt. Benjamin Gelber of the New York Police Department. Gelber and Sgt. Griffith became friends over their mutual interest in law enforcement and collecting department patches. He came down to Washington to meet with the family and hear Sen. Schmitt’s remarks.

Schmitt said it was an honor to meet the group.

“I told Karson, his son, ‘You know, there are people you’ve never met and you’ll never meet and they’re grateful for your dad’s service, and never forget that,’” Schmitt said.

Sullentrup and his family were unable to attend but expressed gratitude for the honor. Sullentrup returned home in November after spending seven months at a hospital in Colorado. His wife, Michelle, said he continues to make progress.

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