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Episode 19: Situational awareness lessons from a first responder shot in the face

Situational Awareness MattersThis close call survival story is an amazing interview with Okaloosa County Sheriff Investigator Steven Hough. This episode retells the story of a first responder shot in the face by an assailant during a standoff. He will share with you what happened as the suspect, armed with an assault rifle, charged the vehicle Investigator Hough and fellow officers were taking over behind. The show notes include audio and video content.

Length: 55 minutes
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If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out the Situational Awareness Matters Online Academy.
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On this episode I interview retired Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Investigator Steven Hough. Steven was shot three times by a suspect and the return fire mortally wounded the assailant. In this gripping interview, Investigator Hough shares:

  1. How his training paid off under the stress of gunfire.
  2. How he experienced the Fog of War (and he explains in detail what that meant for him).
  3. How he used a combat breathing technique to keep himself calm.
  4. Why it is so important to get yourself mentally and physically prepared for the fight.

This Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Investigator was shot three times while working to take a violent fugitive into custody received the Medal of Valor from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office today. His fellow OCSO officers involved in the incident were also recognized for their bravery. Investigator Steve Hough was working outside the suspect’s Milton home December 9th, 2011 as part of a U-S Marshals Service perimeter team. There was very little area to provide cover and the suspect, Christopher Lewis, abruptly came out of the house with guns in each hand and began firing at officers. Investigator Hough returned fire but was shot once in the face and two times in the leg. Lewis did not stop firing until all his ammunition was gone. Lewis received multiple gunshot wounds that eventually proved fatal.

Investigator Hough put himself at personal risk to ensure Lewis did not escape, knowing the threat he posed to others.

If you have experienced or witnessed a near miss and would like to be interviewed on this show, visit my companion site: and click on the Contact Us link. Thank you, in advance, for sharing your lessons learned so others may live.

CLICK HERE to go over to iTunes to subscribe to the show.


Officer Steven Hough received Medal of Valor

Radio traffic with photos of Steven’s injuries (Warning: These images are graphic. Viewer discretion advised.)

Steven Hough’s blog

Congressional Badge of Bravery


Situational Awareness Matters! website


On-Line Academy


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Books and Videos (Store)


Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System


Close Call Survivor Website


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