Madison Police Department
On the morning of March 21, 1997, the Madison Police Department was dispatched to a home in the city’s west side. The man they were sent to look for lived with his elderly parents and had a felony warrant out for his arrest. He was evading a jail sentence.
Officer Andy Garcia arrived at the home, ahead of Officer Tim Hahn, and contacted the wanted man in his basement. Officer Garcia told the man that he was going to be taken into custody. At hearing this, the man tried to escape by punching and forcing his way past Officer Garcia, and then locked himself in a bathroom just as Officer Hahn arrived on the scene. Officer Garcia asked Officer Hahn to try and get a key to the bathroom from the man’s parents, who were still upstairs. As Officer Hahn started climbing the stairway, the man suddenly emerged from the bathroom with a handgun and started shooting at Officer Garcia at point-blank range. Officer Garcia, being taken completely by surprise, did not have an opportunity to return fire. As he was trying to take cover, he was able to shout a warning to Officer Hahn, but all three shots had struck Officer Garcia, who fell to the floor.
Hearing the gunshots, Officer Hahn ran back down the stairs, where he saw the gunman advancing toward the stricken officer, getting ready to shoot again. Officer Hahn immediately engaged the gunman before he could do more harm to Officer Garcia. A barrage of shots were fired between the gunman and Officer Hahn. This was done as Officer Hahn stood in the open stairway with no cover to protect himself. Narrowly missed by all of the attackers bullets, Officer Hahn returned fire until the gunman was no longer a danger to anyone; he then removed the gunman’s weapon and handcuffed him.
His job not done yet, Officer Hahn called for an ambulance and checked on the condition of Officer Garcia, he also radioed to the other responding officers to use caution as the scene was not yet safe. He then cleared the entire basement, checking for additional threats before advising the other officers that it was safe to enter the basement.
It is only because of Officer Timothy Hahn’s courage, quick action, and highly trained response to this deadly threat that the two officers survived this savage attack. Officer Garcia, who survived his wounds partially due to the fact that he was wearing his ballistic vest, believes that he would be surly been killed had Officer Hahn not intervened at the precise moment that he did.