Missouri Highway Patrol honor man who made the ultimate sacrifice
NEW FLORENCE - The Missouri State Highway Patrol awarded Randy Nordman and his widow Julie Nordman with the department's highest decoration of Honorary Trooper on Friday.
The actions of Randy and Julie Nordman, both civilians, helped law enforcement capture Pablo Serrano-Vitorino during a manhunt in March 2016.
Serrano-Vitorino was fleeing the law for murdering four men in Kansas City, Kansas on March 7, 2016.
Within 24-hours of his killing spree in Kansas City, Serrano-Vitorino took a fifth life when he murdered Randy Nordman during an altercation outside his home in New Florence.
"Julie and Randy Nordman were thrust into this horrendous moment, not by career choice, training nor desire," Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Scott White said. "Yet their response was heroic in keeping with the highest standards of law enforcement across the United States, particularly, the Missouri Highway Patrol."
The Highway Patrol says it was both the ultimate sacrifice of Randy Nordman and the surveillance of Julie Nordman that stopped Serrano-Vitorino from stealing one of their cars and continuing his killing spree.
"It was determined that Randy Nordman's brave battle had resulted in the suspect losing his rifle's magazine, leaving him only one round of ammunition, which was used to murder Randy Nordman," White said. "Had Randy not fought so bravely and tenaciously against the suspect, there is no question the suspect would have continued his murderous rampage with a functioning and loaded rifle."
"As he ran from the residence, he was under the watchful eye of Julie Nordman, ho remained on the phone with emergency services, reporting her observations under extreme duress," he continued. "She aided in establishing the perimeter to pressure and confine the suspect, but also his method for avoiding detection."
Serrano-Vitorino was captured within 17-hours of shooting Randy Nordman when he tried to steal a car from someone driving on I-70.
Law enforcement found Serrano-Vitorino using his "method for avoiding detection" by lying in tall grass.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says they would not have been able to capture Serrano-Vitorino without the information obtained from Julie Nordman's observations.
"The actions of Julie and Randy Nordman are in keeping with the Missouri State Highway Patrol's tradition of honoring those who assist other citizens of Missouri during emergency situations," Missouri Highway Patrol Colonel Eric Olsen said in a June 2019 email. "The actions and the service provided by these individuals during this incident are a tribute to their character."
"When in moments of crisis, we learn the character of people are not only revealed, but magnified," White said. "On this terrible day, evidence laid bare the character of Randy and Julie Nordman."
Randy Nordman's parents accepted the award posthumously on his behalf.
Serrano-Vitorino was found dead in his jail cell on April 9, 2019.