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North Miami police officer honored by city after receiving Medal of Valor

Officer Niel Johnson receives hero's welcome upon return from Washington

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A North Miami police officer received a hero's welcome after returning home from Washington, where he received the Medal of Valor.

Officer Niel Johnson was one of two South Florida police officers awarded the Medal of Valor by President Barack Obama earlier this week.

"The whole experience has been surreal (and) extremely humbling to receive such a prestigious award from the most powerful man in the world," Johnson told Local 10 News.

Johnson joined 13 other officers, including Miami-Dade police Officer Mario Gutierrez, at the White House, where they received the nation's highest honor for a public safety officer.

"It fills me with pride, No. 1, for both myself and for the city," Johnson said. "(It is) humbling, for sure, especially when I hear my story compared to the other stories."

Johnson was off duty when he pursued a man who shot at a city of Miami police officer, stole a patrol car and shot two drivers. Johnson shot the gunman, enabling other officers to take him into custody.

Johnson's family watched as the North Miami Police Department and city leaders honored him on his first day back to work since the ceremony.

"It's an honoring experience just to see everybody come together," daughter Megan Dominguez said.

The City Council also made a proclamation declaring Wednesday as Officer Niel Johnson Day.