Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg, a 7-year veteran of the Oregon State Police, was named the American Association of State Troopers 2017 Trooper of the Year for his heroic efforts to stop a murderer from taking more lives.
On December 25, 2016, at approximately 10:30 p.m., a male suspect met his estranged wife, Kate Armand, at his mother's residence in King City, OR to exchange their eleven month old daughter for visitation. After carrying their daughter into his mother's house, the suspect returned to Kate's vehicle and shot her eight times, killing her as she attempted to escape.
Trooper Cederberg was taking a Christmas evening break with his family at his residence. He monitored the ATL on the suspect’s movements and having grown up in the area he knew the suspect would have to go one of two directions to avoid police detection. As Trooper Cederberg patrolled towards King City he found the suspect’s car backed into a driveway. Trooper Cederberg was in an unmarked patrol car, the suspect drove off and a pursuit ensued. During the chase the suspect shot at Trooper Cederberg’s vehicle repeatedly. While under fire, Trooper Cederberg continuously radioed position update to other responding officers in an effort to expedite their response.
The suspect eventually turned down a dead end road. Trooper Cederberg stopped his patrol car short of the end of the road to set up for the suspect’s return. He watched as the suspect did a U-turn and accelerated toward him, and although responding officers were still several minutes away, Trooper Cederberg knew the suspect needed to be stopped. It was clear the suspect intended to ram Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car so the trooper began firing to stop the threat. After ramming Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car the suspect immediately started shooting at the trooper through his passenger window, striking Trooper Cederberg in the right hip knocking him to the ground. The gunshot rendered Trooper Cederberg’s legs useless and it is believed that this is the bullet that is still currently lodged against his spine. Although wounded in the exchange, the suspect got out of his car and moved around the back of his vehicle looking for the trooper. Unable to get up, Trooper Cederberg was able to reload and return fire as the gunfight continued.
The trooper attempted a second reload as suspect charged him firing indiscriminately, his last shot fired a few feet from Trooper Cederberg. The trooper continued to move and fight on the ground; he was struck a total of eleven more times. Five rounds were absorbed by his ballistic vest, but seven rounds struck his body.
The suspect disengaged from the gunfight when he heard the sound of approaching sirens and ran into a nearby wooded area to set up an ambush. The suspect’s ambush was unsuccessful, he died at the scene after a brief but intense exchange of gunfire with other officers.
Officers began treating Trooper Cederberg’s injuries immediately, he was taken to the hospital where he endured numerous surgeries and a lengthy stay in the ICU. His injuries include a collapsed lung, two broken arms, and a bullet lodged against his spine. The bullet near his spine is too dangerous to remove and could be a part of him for the rest of his life.
Trooper Cederberg is still recovering and requiring intense medical treatment. He continues his fight to get better and return to a normal life. Trooper Cederberg has kept an amazing and optimistic attitude. He’s told his friends and family, “I was just doing my job”, his actions helped stop a crazed murderer from injuring or killing more innocent people.
Cederberg was presented the award on July 12, 2017, at a meeting of the Superintendent’s executive staff in Salem, Oregon. Capt. John Bagnardi, Florida Highway Patrol, chairman of the Trooper of the Year committee, Lt. Colonel Dave Witt (ret) who began with the Oregon State Police in the 1950’s and Jason Bledsoe, Oregon State Police, AAST Oregon State Director all attended on behalf of AAST for the presentation of the award to Trooper Cederberg.
Update on Trooper Cederberg’s progress can be found on the following go fund me page,
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"Your gift will further my education and allow me to follow in the footsteps of family members before me. My grandfather, Captain Joe F. Dixon (retired), served Florida Highway Patrol for 39 years and my dad, Major Jeffrey S. Dixon, has been on the patrol for the past 25 years. My family has been in FHP for several decades and someday I hope to join the ranks of the patrol and pursue a career in law enforcement.
I know AAST supports the education of troopers and their families through scholarship opportunities, and I am truly grateful to be a recipient. Man’s flight through life is supported by the power of his knowledge and your gift will certainly help me sustain my educational and professional goals. As a part of a trooper’s family, this opportunity means a great deal to me and my family. Thank you to everyone at AAST and to the troopers and retirees across the county who support the scholarship program.”-Wesley Dixon, AAST Scholarship Recipient