The Missouri State Highway Patrol is awarding its highest honor for non-staff, the Honorary Trooper Certificate, to Montgomery County residents Julie Nordman and her late husband, Randy Nordman.
“The Honorary Trooper Award is presented to a nonemployee who performs in an exemplary manner, and under dangerous conditions, to aid another, or who unselfishly assists a member in the performance of their duties,” the highway patrol said in its announcement of the award.
The presentation will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the Montgomery County Ambulance District Building, 603 Stoddard Memorial Drive, New Florence.
The awards are a result of the 2016 murder investigation, manhunt and capture of Pablo Serrano-Vitorino. Details of this incident have been withheld until now to allow for proper disposition of the criminal proceedings associated to the case.
However, on April 9 of this year, Serrano-Vitorino was found deceased in his jail cell while awaiting those proceedings. Thus, the details of the March 2016 incident have been released.
Late at night March 7, 2016, four men were shot and killed in Kansas City, Kan. The suspect fled across Interstate 70 until his vehicle became disabled in Montgomery County.
Armed with a rifle, Serrano-Vitorino abandoned his vehicle on the shoulder before daybreak, and walked to the home of Randy and Julie Nordman. The fugitive approached Randy Nordman on his property and a confrontation ensued.
Although the fugitive was armed with the rifle used to previously kill four people, Randy fought for possession of the rifle to protect his family, and ultimately the community, according to the highway patrol.
The suspect, at some point, was able to shoot Randy during the struggle, fatally wounding him. This was Serrano-Vitorino’s fifth homicide within 12 hours. Meanwhile, Randy’s wife, Julie, called 911 to report the attack.
As Serrano-Vitorino ran from the residence, he was under the watchful eye of Julie, who remained on the phone with emergency services and reporting her observations under extreme duress, the patrol said.
Law enforcement converged upon the area, establishing a perimeter in the area based upon the information provided by Julie Nordman. The suspect was successful in eluding law enforcement for approximately 17 hours.
The patrol later determined that Randy Nordman’s battle with the suspect resulted in him losing his rifle’s magazine, leaving him only one round of ammunition, which was used to murder Randy Nordman. Had Randy not fought tenaciously against the suspect, he would have presented an extreme danger with a functioning and loaded rifle, the patrol said in its announcement of the award.
“Julie and Randy Nordman were thrust into this horrendous moment, not by career choice, training, nor desire. Yet their response was heroic, in keeping with the highest of standards of law enforcement,” said Capt. Corey J. Schoeneberg, commander of Highway Patrol Troop F. “On that day, evidence laid bare the character of Randy and Julie Nordman. Through their actions, including Randy’s heroic confrontation and battle with a murderer, there is little doubt more violent confrontations were adverted and lives were saved.”