Children's gratitude to Detroit police officers captured in touching moments on bodycam

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 19:19:27-05

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — A Detroit woman calling 911 told the dispatcher that she and her two children were hiding in an upstairs bedroom and needed help right away.

She was afraid that her husband would hear her calling the police, so she whispered, telling the dispatcher that he had two guns and had said he was not going to go to jail.

The man had also told his family that he was going to kill them.

But whatever he had planned for his family that day, a team of Detroit police officers that surrounded the family's home were determined to stop him. And they did.

Led by Corporal Paul Kraus, the officers surrounded the house and when the woman inside the house began to scream, Kraus made the tactical decision to force entry.

Inside the house, they spotted the man assaulting his wife but they couldn't shoot him. There was a child on his back, trying to get his father to stop hurting his mother.

Officers were able to use a taser to apprehend the man.

Some of the officers went upstairs and video from one officer's bodycam capture the moments the children knew they were safe.

One child can be heard saying, "Thank you! Oh God! He was going to shoot all of us." The officer replies, "We won't let that happen. You guys are okay."

Children's gratitude to officers captured on body cam

Another child tells the officer that they were hiding. She continues to softly reassure them that they're safe.

"You guys are okay now, okay?" the officer said.

The dangerous encounter happened around 8 a.m. on Feb. 3. And today Detroit Police Chief James Craig awarded Kraus and the other officers and dispatchers involved in this rescue and another act of bravery with the Chief Citation for Heroic Action.

"This is not television," Craig said. "These are real-life heroes."

Action News spoke to Kraus as he stood next to his fellow officers who were with him that day.

"Though he called us heroes, I don't think we're heroes," he said "We're just police officers doing our job. It happens all the time, every day by police officers all over the nation."

The body-cam video, which was played before the citations were handed out, ends with one last exchange between the children and the officer and the children.

"Well, you guys are okay now," said the officer. "Mom's going to be okay. And we're going to take care of dad for you guys, okay?"

The mother of the children was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.