A Montreal police officer who retired Wednesday will always be remembered for his heroic actions 12 years ago.

A foot patroller for most of his career, Denis Coté has protected the downtown neighbourhood for 22 years – including one of the scarier moments in recent history.

On September 13, 2006, Coté received a call about a gunman roaming the halls of Dawson College. He jumped in his patrol car, determined to stop it.

Coté still finds it difficult to talk about it – but they were his bullets that stopped the shooter, Kimveer Gill. Coté shot him in the arm before Gill commit suicide.

One person died at the scene and another 19 were injured.

“You just answer the calland deal with it the best you can,” said Coté.

While he might be modest about his achievement, he and several colleagues were rewarded for their bravery by the Governor General.

That same determination drove Coté to intervene when a mentally ill man threatened his colleagues four years ago. Coté used his police cruiser to hit Alain Magloire, who was later shot when he lunged at an officer with a hammer. It was a controversial operation.

Coté said he has faced plenty of danger in his career.

“I became a police officer because I wanted to experience a range of emotions,” he says. “I think it's mission accomplished.”