Deputies Injured In April Shootout Recognized With Medal Of Honor, Purple Heart Awards

Cowley County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Cory Sunnenberg, John Vanroyen and Brian Young post for a picture alongside Cowley County Sheriff Dave Falletti after they were awarded Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recognitions during Tuesday’s county commission meeting. (Photo courtesy CCSO)

Three deputies with the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office were honored Tuesday morning during the Cowley County Commission meeting in Winfield.

Deputies Cory Sunnenberg, John Vanroyen and Brian Young were recipients of Medal of Honor and Purple Hearts awards.

All three men were shot at and injured in the line of duty during a stop on April 15 by an Ark City woman, while investigating a suspicious vehicle that they located just off U.S. 77 on 122nd Road. The driver, 32-year-old Andrea Barrow, became uncooperative.

After a taser was deployed and the individual was being removed from the vehicle, she pulled out a gun and shot at the deputies. She was killed in the exchange of gunfire.

In June, the Cowley County Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting death of 32-year-old Andrea Barrow justified.

All three men were taken to a Wichita-area hospital for treatment of their injuries. Vanroyen and Young were released that night, but Sunnenberg’s injuries were more severe.

Cowley County Sheriff David Falletti said during the meeting the deputies displayed “acts of outstanding bravery and self-sacrifice,” and that “these actions were performed without regard to their own safety and went above and beyond the ordinary call of duty and without thought of reward or personal gain.”

Falletti said Sunnenberg, Vanroyen and Young used life-saving teamwork during the chaos.

“Although tragic, these three deputies used their training and decision-making skills that day.” Falletti said. “While Cpl. Vanroyen went to get a medical kit from his vehicle, Cpl. Sunnenberg applied a tourniquet to his own leg while Deputy Young applied pressure to Cpl. Sunnenberg’s wound.

“All three deputies are back on duty. Deputy Young is on light duty as he is still healing from his injury. We thank the citizens of Cowley County for their huge support of the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement.”