Tulsa police officers shot on duty receive Oklahoma Purple Heart

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two Tulsa police officers who were shot on duty last summer received Oklahoma Purple Heart awards on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

Officer Aurash Zarkeshan and Sgt. Craig Johnson were shot during a traffic stop in June 2020. Johnson died from his wounds but Zarkeshan later recovered.

Gov. Stitt announced Zarkeshan and Johnson would receive the Oklahoma Purple Heart alongside Oklahoma City Police Officer Zachary Barby on Tuesday in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

Barby was injured in a November 2020 chase by a suspected murderer who officers later shot and killed.

The Oklahoma Purple Heart is awarded annually exclusively to first responders, living or deceased, who are seriously injured in the course of their assigned duties.

Joining the officers and their families at the award ceremony is Oklahoma Army National Guard Sgt. Pedro Gonzales III who has been awarded the Oklahoma Medal of Valor for his actions that saved the life of his elderly neighbor, and left Gonzales III with several stab wounds he’s since recovered from.