Olney Interim Police Chief receives Medal of Valor

OLNEY, TX (RNN TEXOMA) - The highest decoration for bravery was given to the Olney Interim Police Chief Monday night.

Chief Robert Cross received the public safety officer Medal of Valor.

He received the high praise for risking his life to try and save a 74-year-old woman and for putting her killer behind bars.

It happened April 18, 2016, when he was serving the Pelican Bay Police Department.

A day Chief Cross was not even supposed to be at work, turned out to be one he will never forget.

"It was actually my day off, and I agreed to come in and help the chief," said Chief Cross.

That is when a call came in, that he agreed to take.

As he got into his car to check it out, he had no idea what happened next, would change his life forever.

When he arrived on scene he noticed an intoxicated man standing outside. Chief Cross then started questioning him.

"It's like something in him snapped, and he was like I told you, she's on fire in the house," Chief Cross said.

He went into the house five times trying to save Catherine Davis.

"I just couldn't, you could hear her screaming in the house, she was alive," he said.

Although Davis died that day he feels like she knew they were really trying to save her.  

"That's the frustrating part is we come across different things where we feel some level of helplessness, but just to feel utterly helpless, that you we're doing everything you could and just could not get to her," said Chief Cross.

What brings him peace is that justice was served. The suspect Jonathan Scifres confessed to the murder and is now serving 42 years in prison.

"The comfort I draw from it is knowing that he's where he can't hurt anybody anymore," said Chief Cross.

Chief Cross led the investigation and is being honored for his dedication and selfless acts that day.

"I didn't think about doing it, it was just this is what I need to do," he said.

He adds he would expect the same from anybody else.

"That's why it's very humbling to receive the award," he said. "Looking back I see that it was something exceptional, but I look at it also that that's what I am here for."

His mother also made it out to support her son on his special day.

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