Anderson County Deputy Brad Colman and Sgt. Tabitha Frawner were honored by the Sheriff’s Association of Texas for distinguished service in the line of duty Thursday in a ceremony at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
Coleman was presented the association’s Texas Lawman of the Year Award and Frawner the Peacemaker Award, by Executive Director Steve Westbrook and Tom Maddox, Sabine County Sheriff and President of the Association.
These awards are typically presented at the Association’s annual conference held in July, however, due to the COVID-19 the conference was canceled.
Surrounded by their law enforcement family, the officers received plaques and monetary awards during the ceremony.
Coleman, who was wounded in the Oct. 19 shootout between Coleman and suspect Terry Lee Countryman Jr. at Hickory Ridge Mobile Home Park, received a Purple Heart and a Medal of Valor; Frawner received a Lifesaving medal.
Colman was investigating a vehicle that Countryman had allegedly stolen earlier in the day.
Frawner is credited with saving Colman’s life. Frawner used her handheld radio cord as a makeshift tourniquet until Trooper Leonard Sanidfer with the Department of Public Safety arrived with an actual tourniquet for Colman’s leg, where he was shot, before EMS took him to the hospital.
Colman underwent several surgeries on his leg. He was released from UT Health in Tyler in early December, after nearly seven weeks of treatment.
Colman is doing well, but he is still recuperating and has not yet returned to duty.
After Countryman, 34, of Palestine, shot Colman, he stole Colman's squad car and fled. A state trooper found Countryman near FM 2330 and County Road 458 later that day. After Countryman pointed a rifle at the trooper, the trooper fired his service weapon, wounding the suspect. Countryman later died at Palestine Regional Medical Center, Texas Rangers reported. The trooper who shot him was uninjured.
The Sheriffs' Association of Texas is one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation. The Sheriffs' Association of Texas met for the first time on August 14, 1874, in the courthouse in Corsicana.