6 Tonawanda officers honored after May 2020 incident where detective was shot


TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Six City of Tonawanda police officers received Valor Awards following an incident that took place in May 2020.

During the incident, which led to the arrest of Matthew Gerwitz, two people were shot, one fatally. The person who lived was Det. David Ljiljanich, who was shot several times.

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Ljiljanich, who is retiring on Friday, is one of the Valor Award recipients. Another recipient, Lt. Scott Sheehan, retired last Monday.

The other officers who received the award were Capt. Fredric Foels, Lt. Brian Scarpena, Capt. Jamin Butcher and Officer Eric Foels.

Each officer also received a special plaque and a “key to the city.” The ceremony happened outside of Tonawanda City Hall on Niagara Street.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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