Auto Recycler Receives Medal of Bravery for Helping Cop Take Down Killer
Oshawa, Ontario — March 7, 2012 — It isn’t every day you help a police officer take down a dangerous killer. For most of us there are no days like that at all. But when Kevin Thomas of Dom’s Auto Parts was needed, he didn’t hesitate.
Thomas was recently awarded the Governor General’s Medal of Bravery for assisting a Durham Regional Police officer at the scene of a triple homicide in Oshawa, Ontario in November 2008.
Kevin Thomas and Governor General David Johnston at the presentation of the Medal of Bravery at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Above: Kevin Thomas and Governor General David Johnston at the presentation of the Medal of Bravery at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
When Constable Scott Dargie responded to a 911 call at the home of Richard and Leslie Kelly, he arrived to find Mr. Kelly gravely wounded outside the home. Inside, a deranged man named Gino Petralia had just murdered Leslie Kelly and attacked the couple’s young sons. Richard Kelly and his son Nathan later died from their injuries.
Petralia emerged from the home holding a hammer and wearing a knife at his hip. Const. Dargie ordered him to surrender, but Petralia ignored him and entered another unit. The officer shot him as he was about to attack the men inside. The shot wounded Petralia, but did not put him down.
Const. Dargie began wrestling with Petralia, but was having a difficult time getting him under control.
As fate would have it, Kevin Thomas lived nearby and was heading out for dinner at the time with his family. He quickly rushed to the officer’s aid.
"I asked if he needed help and he said ‘Yes’," says Thomas. "I really had no idea of the magnitude of the situation until later."
Thomas and Const. Dargie received the Governor General’s Medal of Bravery for actions taken that night. Richard Kelly was given the medal posthumously for his actions in trying to save his family. His sons Brandon and Riley attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of their father.
"I’m honoured," says Thomas. "But I still don’t think I did anything. I just stepped up to help an officer."
Const. Dargie disagrees, and has gone on record saying he was in “big trouble” before Thomas came to his aid.
Oddly enough, Const. Dargie and Kevin Thomas didn’t formally meet until an inquest into Petralia’s death.
"I got to thank him for what he did that day," said Thomas. "Had he not answered when he did, my family might have been next."