Police sergeant receives medal for role in standoff

Taylor police Sgt. Frank Kornexl (left) receives certification of his
medal of honor from Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand and Police Chief
Dale Tamsen.

Photos by Dave Gorgon

Photos by Dave Gorgon

Taylor police Sgt. Frank Kornexl is congratulated by fellow city officers after receiving the Medal of Honor, the highest honor possible for a police officer. In the front row are Cpl. Rosanna Hopper, Kornexl and Cpl. Aaron Shrewsbury. In the second row are Detective Nick Hill (left), Sgt. Rick Hopper and Cpl. Dave Jones. In the back row are Police Chief Dale Tamsen, Cpl. Eric Jones, Detective Marc Gaynier and Cmdr. Dan Crowell.

TAYLOR – A city police sergeant has received his department’s highest honor for shooting a gunman that shot an Allen Park police officer and fired 200 shots during a standoff in an Allen Park neighborhood.

Sgt. Frank Kornexl was presented the Medal of Honor by Taylor Police Chief Dale Tamsen during the Feb. 17 City Council meeting. Kornexl received a standing ovation from an overflow crowd that included about a dozen of his fellow officers.

Tamsen told of Kornexl’s heroics as a member of the Downriver Mutual Aid Special Weapons and Tactics Team during the May 22, 2009, incident in Allen Park:

When Kornexl arrived at the scene, he was told that an Allen Park officer had been shot, and that the gunman was barricaded in a house and had continued shooting.

Kornexl entered the inner perimeter of the incident and located a position to contain the threat. He saw several rounds fired from the house toward an area where other officers were deployed, and the gunman fired rounds toward Kornexl’s location.

Kornexl fired one round and struck the defendant, Mark David Fussner, who later was pronounced dead at the scene. According to Tamsen, Fussner had fired more than 200 rounds from several weapons and “held an entire neighborhood hostage.”

The standoff began when a 24th District Court officer attempted to serve Fussner with an eviction notice at his house. As an Allen Park officer approached the house, Fussner shot him with small-game pellets. The officer was struck in the forehead, chest, arms, hands and nostrils with the pellets, police said.

The Allen Park officer was able to take cover behind his car and return fire. The incident soon escalated and lasted seven hours. The SWAT Team was summoned. At one point, police officers were fired upon for an hour straight.

Later, police found seven weapons inside the house and said Fussner had fired four of them. The Allen Park officer was treated later at a hospital and released.

“An investigation revealed that the defendant had planned to barricade himself in the house,” Tamsen said. “The defendant had several long guns and a handgun inside the residence and had placed ammunition near windows in each room of the house.”

Tamsen said Kornexl put himself “in a life-endangering situation with possibility of loss of life, going above and beyond the call of duty.” He said the sergeant’s actions exemplified “personal sacrifice and extreme bravery.”