CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge recognized two Champaign-area police officers for their roles during and following the shooting that claimed the life of Officer Christopher Oberheim.
Jeff Creel, Oberheim’s partner, received the FOP Valor Award and University of Illinois Officer John Wright received the Fraternalism Award during a special presentation in Champaign on Wednesday.
“No one wants to experience what Officers Creel and Wright did on that fateful day when their friend and fellow officer was gunned down,” said FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood, who presented the awards. “But their selfless examples of sacrifice and service are a shining example of the law enforcement officers’ motto, ‘to protect and serve.'”
Creel was recognized for his actions on May 19, 2021 after he and Oberheim were shot while responding to a domestic abuse call. Despite being seriously wounded, Creel returned fire toward the suspect who shot him, killing the suspect. The FOP Valor Award was presented to Creel for “his heroic actions and high degree of courage under fire.”
Wright was recognized for supporting his fellow officers in the aftermath of Oberheim’s death. Upon learning of the shooting, Wright took the day off without pay and, at his own expense, delivered coffee and breakfast to every agency investigating the shooting. The FOP Fraternalism Award is presented to an FOP member whose leadership inspires others and brings positive change.