AUSTIN — Former Sour Lake Police Officer William “Bill” McKeon Jr. is receiving the Star of Texas Award during a ceremony Friday morning hosted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
The Star Of Texas Awards were created in 2003 by House Bill 1937 to honor and commemorate individuals who made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders.
McKeon was critically injured when a man attacked and beat him during a call in May of 2019 at a meat market/convenience store off Highway 105 in Sour Lake.
The suspect, Bradley Pruitt, is serving a 99 year sentence for Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer.
McKeon suffered life threatening injuries and underwent lengthy hospitalization, multiple operations and rehabilitation.
The injuries affect him to this day.
He has retired from the Sour Lake Police Department due to his injuries and is living in Central Texas.
Chief Aaron Burleson of the Sour Lake Police Department is attending the Star of Texas award ceremony with McKeon.
From Texas Governor Greg Abbott – Governor Greg Abbott today presented the 2021 Star Of Texas Awards to peace officers, firefighters, and first responders who demonstrated heroism and sacrifice in service to their communities and the Lone Star State. The Governor was joined for the ceremony in Austin by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott.
“The Star Of Texas Award is aptly named because it honors those whose self-sacrifice serves as a shining example of the very best of the Lone Star State,” said Governor Abbott. “I am proud to humbly recognize 46 remarkable individuals who have demonstrated incredible heroism in the line of duty. To these men and women and all law enforcement and first responders across our state, I cannot express the gratitude we have for all you do to keep our communities safe. You have a Governor who will always have you back, because Texas will always support our law enforcement officers and first responders and their families. You represent the very best of Texas, and we are grateful for the risks you take every single day to keep us safe.”
The Star Of Texas Awards were created in 2003 by House Bill 1937 to honor and commemorate individuals who made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders. HB 1937 also designated September 11th of every year as Texas First Responders Day. Today’s ceremony honored and recognized 46 Texans for their remarkable courage and tremendous sacrifice in the line of duty, including some who gave their lives.
The 2021 recipients of the Star of Texas Awards are:
Officer Paul Manning Beller
Officer Matthew Steven Brazeal
Sergeant Christopher Charles Lewis Brewster
Officer Ismael Chavez
Officer David Coffie
Officer Bradley Christopher Colman
Deputy William Christopher Dickerson
Paul Jude Dufour
Corporal Jose Luis Espericueta, Jr.
Corporal James Farmer
Officer Wesley Fikes
Deputy Joshua Garcia
Officer Abel B. Garza
Officer Edelmiro Garza, Jr.
Firefighter Nicholas Gustavo Granados
Corporal Lonnie Bruce Harrison
Deputy Peter John Herrera
Billy Ray Hollings
Captain Frazier Lee Holbert
Officer Richard Hudson
Captain Ronald J. Janek
Officer Jason Michael Knox
Officer Michael Lamar Love
Deputy Sheriff Eddy Luna
Firefighter Larry Wayne Marusik
Officer Alan Michael McCollum
Deputy Odell McDuffie, Jr.
Officer William James McKeon, Jr.
Officer Lloyd Charles Morrison II
Officer Justin Philip Mueller
Officer Zack Owens
Officer Mitchell Aaron Penton
Officer William Matthew Phipps
Officer Justin Read Putnam
Deputy Sheriff John Andrew Rhoden
Officer Colby Felix Rodgers
Officer Frederick Rubin
Corporal James Tom Santana
Lieutenant Stacy Paul Seymore
Officer Franco Stewart
Sergeant Kalia Marie Sullivan
Trooper Juan Rojas Tovar
Trooper Chad Walker
Firefighter Stephen Bernard Washington
Deputy Richard Edward Whitten
Corporal Ted Yelley
Written by KFDM/FOX4