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2023 Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor Recipients

From left to right: Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Governor Kim Reynolds, Sheriff Neil Gross, Chief Deputy Cody Eckles, Jake Hoss, Bill McDaniel, Commissioner Stephan Bayens, Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk, Kelly Sullivan

On December 18, 2023, four officers with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office received the Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor:

  • Sheriff Neil Gross
  • Chief Deputy Cody Eckles 
  • Deputy Jake Hoss 
  • Deputy Bill McDaniel 


On July 12, 2021, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a suicidal subject barricaded inside a home in Elk Horn. Dispatch reported the subject had poured gasoline throughout the home and stated his intention to blow himself and the house up. Dispatch also reported he had screwed shut all the exterior doors. 
When law enforcement arrived at the home, the odor of gasoline hung in the air and they could see the subject through a window, striking a lighter.  First responders from the area soon descended upon Elkhorn, evacuated nearby residents and established a perimeter.
Over the next two hours, negotiators spoke with the subject and did their level best to facilitate a peaceful surrender but the subject remainder volatile.   On two different occasions, gunfire erupted from within the residence with one round penetrating an exterior window.  Finally, the negotiators reported they had a breakthrough and believed the subject was going to peacefully surrender.  A short time later, black smoke began to billow from the north side of the residence, flames began to engulf the home, and negotiators lost all contact with the occupant.

At this point, it was unclear whether the subject was attempting to make good on his threat to blow up the home or lure the officers close and ambush them.  Soon thereafter, law enforcement observed the subject pounding on the window of an exterior door as if he was trapped.  Law enforcement then began to hear what sounded like gunshots or explosions inside the home that was believed to be stacks of ammunition ignited by the growing fire.

In an attempt to provide the occupant a means to exit the home, Shelby County Deputy Jake Hoss fired a less lethal beanbag round that shattered an exterior window.  The subject, however, made no effort to escape through the broken window and continued to pound on the door while yelling for help.  

In that moment a decision had to made.  The threat of ambush was real, ammunition appeared to be cooking off inside, and the prospect the house may explode was palpable.  Nonetheless these four men decided to bear those risks and attempt to save the occupant.
Carrying a ballistic shield, Chief Deputy Cody Eckles led Deputy Hoss, Deputy Bill McDaniel, and Sheriff Neil Gross to the south door of the residence. Sheriff Gross breached the door with a battering ram while the others provided cover.  Sheriff Gross and Deputy McDaniel then entered the burning and smoke-filled home, located the occupant, and drug him to safety.

Once the fire was extinguished, law enforcement learned all the exterior doors had been screwed shut from the inside and a fully loaded AR15-style rifle had been lying next to the subject when law enforcement made entry.
If not for the courageous actions by Sheriff Gross, Chief Deputy Eckles, Deputy Hoss, and Deputy McDaniel, the occupant surely would have died that day. For their singular determination to save a man’s life in the face of compounding deadly risks, these four men have been selected to receive the Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor.

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2023 Governor's Lifesaving Award Recipients

On December 18, 2023, two Iowans received Lifesaving Awards:

  • Caleb Crocker of Guttenberg, Iowa 
  • Andrew Krieg of Cylinder, Iowa 

Caleb Crocker Narrative

Caleb Crocker
From left to right: Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Governor Kim Reynolds, Caleb Crocker, DPS Commissioner Stephan Bayens, Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk

On the evening of December 1, 2022, Caleb Crocker of Guttenberg was working the night shift as a Direct Support Professional at a residential home that serves Iowans with disabilities. Shortly after getting the residents situated for the evening, he noticed something was amiss and soon discovered the home was on fire. His response was immediate, quickly calling 911 and then turning his attention to those under his care. As the home started to fill with smoke, Caleb continually re-entered the home and guided and, in some instances, carried the residents to safety. 

Throughout this ordeal, Caleb remained calm and focused even though the residents were scared, confused, and did not fully appreciate what was unfolding. First responders soon arrived and treated Caleb and the residents for smoke inhalation. 

For his heroic efforts under threatening circumstances, Caleb is receiving the Lifesaving Award.

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Andrew Krieg Narrative

Andrew Krieg
From left to right: Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Governor Kim Reynolds, Andrew Krieg, Neighbor, DPS Commissioner Stephan Bayens, Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk

On November 28, 2022, Andrew Krieg of Cylinder was working at a rural Palo Alto County farm when he received a phone call from a fellow farm hand. His co-worker reported seeing smoke coming from the acreage of an elderly neighbor and asked Andrew if he would check it out given the windy day. Andrew agreed to do so and headed that way. Upon his arrival, Andrew observed the home’s entryway was completely engulfed in flames. He quickly tried to gain access through a nearby door but found it locked. He then peered through an adjacent window and could just make out the faint outline of a hand inside the smoke-filled room. Andrew forced his way through the locked door, ventured inside the burning home, battled the thick smoke billowing inside, and located the elderly resident laying on the floor. Andrew quickly carried the man from the burning home to safety. In nominating Andrew for this award, the Palo Alto Sheriff’s Office described Andrew as a farmer, a neighbor, and an exceptional human being. 

For his selfless and brave efforts to save a neighbor and fellow farmer, Andrew is receiving the Lifesaving Award.

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