On Wednesday, Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp presented a Burke County deputy the highest honor offered to law enforcement.

Before the judge took the bench on Tuesday, one of the new Burke County courtrooms was filled with local leaders, law enforcement and Georgia’s Governor. The ceremony was held to recognize a handful of sheriff’s office promotions and to present Deputy Eric Madison with the Medal of Valor.

“He doesn’t look at himself as a hero,” said Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard about Deputy Madison. “[He] said we didn’t even need to do any recognition, but what he did was certainly worthy of the Medal of Valor.”

In August, a woman was kidnapped at gunpoint and says she was tortured by her ex-husband. Deputy Madison spotted his car and followed it to a home on Farmer’s Bridge Road and Springhill Church Road.

In a matter of seconds Deputy Madison had to act to save the woman’s life.

The woman later shared with her friend her ex-husband told her he was going to bring her to that house, kill her, and then kill himself. Deputy Madison got there before he could.

The woman sprinted for safety while the suspect fired multiple shots at the her and Deputy Madison. Bullets the patrol car and the woman, but she will recover from her physical wounds. Deputy Madison returned fire and killed the suspect.

“It gives me chills to stand here and talk about it,” said Sheriff Alfonzo Williams. “It’s very emotional for me. I know it has been for him, but we want you to know that we love you. With 8 months of experience, he was able to remember his training. We appreciate you saving that woman’s life. We appreciate your service to the citizens of Burke County. We appreciate your service to the United States of America.”

Deputy Madison is already a Purple Heart recipient. He served 8 years in the United States Navy before he joined the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

Governor Kemp was there to give the Medal of Valor to Deputy Madison.

“The good book says there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend so here’s the question– how much greater is that love to sacrifice everything, to risk it all for someone that you didn’t even know,” says Gov. Kemp. “[Deputy Madison] vowed, as you all know, many years ago to serve and protect and that’s exactly what he did…He deserves all the praise and accolades that we can give them, even though he doesn’t want them.

In an act of humility, Deputy Madison politely declined an interview with NewsChannel 6.