TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police officer who died after crashing into a wrong-way driver was awarded the agency's Life Saving Award seven times throughout his career.
Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, had served as a Tampa Police officer for 16 and a half years.
He was a husband and father of three. He was also a U.S. Marine.
He died on Tuesday morning around 1 a.m. after his patrol car crashed into a wrong-way driver on I-275.
"We have reason to believe that he veered into this oncoming car to protect others, that is what we gathered through some of our witnesses," said Police Chief Brian Dugan. "When you look at someone who has earned seven Life Saving Awards, it's no surprise, he would take such swift action and do this."
The Tampa Police Department provided several memos to ABC Action News documenting the life-saving actions of Officer Madsen throughout his career.
In September 2012, Officer Madsen responded to a nightclub where he found a victim who was shot by a suspect during an attempted robbery.
Officer Madsen administered first aid and applied direct pressure to the bleeding. Tampa police said at the time of the incident, Officer Madsen had recently returned to work from a one-year deployment from Afghanistan. His training overseas contributed to his rapid assessment and action which likely saved the victim's life.
He won another Life Saving Award in August 2017. Officers responded to an unresponsive male inside a home.
Officer Madsen utilized the department's AED after the individual was found without a pulse and not breathing. Other officers performed CPR. Fire Rescue also arrived and administered Narcan. The man became conscious and was transported to a local hospital.
The police department also applauded Madsen's actions for helping stop a shooter during an incident in July 2020. Calls came into the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County regarding a man who was shooting at drivers and pointing a rifle at them.
There were at least 11 different scenes where the suspect shot at adults, families and even children in a playground.
The police department applauded the team effort for responding to the scene and locating the shooter who was armed with two assault rifles.
Friends said Officer Madsen was kind, loyal and a proud Marine.
"Jesse was a very loyal, down-to-earth person and he would put others before himself, that's just who he was on a daily basis," said Rafael Pizano, a firefighter with City of Tampa Fire Rescue. "The next moment they're not here...that father is no longer here, that husband is no longer here, that son is no longer here and that buddy."