Patrolman Michael Minor was driving solo. It was a slow, rainy morning. The radio was quiet. When the call came - a domestic disturbance on Old York Road - Minor, then a seven-year veteran assigned to the 35th District, jumped on it, even though another officer had originally been sent. He was just a few blocks away. And bored.

Pulling up, he saw a man pacing on the porch. It was the father, he'd later find out. Walking up the steps, the front door of the house swung open, and a man stood in the doorway. His eyes wide, his hands concealed, it was the son, Keenan McIntosh.

Minor did not know that McIntosh's mother, Patrice, 50, lay dead in her bedroom, shot once in the side of the head by her son, police say.

Seeing his son in the doorway, the father dropped to the ground, yelling for McIntosh to "drop it, drop it."

Minor grabbed for his weapon, and a quiet morning suddenly became a life-and-death struggle - one that would end with Minor shaken, but alive, and McIntosh in custody on murder charges.

For his actions that Sunday last December, the 41-year-old Minor was one of 83 officers awarded commendations during an awards ceremony Wednesday at the Fraternal Order of Police hall in Northeast Philadelphia. Rows and rows of stiff-backed men and women in dress blues honored for overlooked acts of valor and bravery.

Like Officers Timothy and William Stephan, brothers then assigned to the 25th District who rushed into a burning Feltonville home Feb. 5, toward the screams of three children, their mother, and an elderly woman. They wrapped the children in blankets to protect them from the smoke as they carried them to safety.

Or Officers Jonathan Castro, Adrian Hustler, Teresa Sanchious, and Jennifer Gainer of the 18th District, who saved a severely despondent woman from herself.

In August 2013, the four responded to a call on Chestnut Street in West Philadelphia, where they found the woman pacing the middle of the street, a wrist and forearm gashed, and a blade pressed at her throat. She was saying she wanted to die and needed to die. The officers tried to talk to her, but she instead began cutting her throat. The officers Tased her in the stomach, temporarily stunning her, then quickly grabbed her and worked to stop the bleeding. They drove her to a hospital, saving her life.

Or Officer Patrick Dooley, who, like Minor, is assigned to the 35th District. In February, he helped save the life of a teenage girl, shot in the leg and in shock from blood loss, by quickly fastening a tourniquet above her wound.

"They made us proud," said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who used the occasion to speak directly to the officers' families.

Referencing the troubles in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere, Ross said the officers needed their loved ones' support now more than ever. He praised the officers being honored - and the entire department for restraint shown by police in the string of recent protests and die-ins.

Minor's divisional commander, Inspector James Kelly, described him as "the epitome of a professional - a model officer."

For his part, Minor, now a tactical officer, said he felt humbled by the award. Then, he replayed the few minutes last winter where it felt as if time had slowed as he fought for his life on a Logan porch.

Seeing McIntosh in the doorway, he drew his weapon and demanded to see his hands. When McIntosh showed his hands, Minor holstered his gun, patting McIntosh down. When he felt the metallic bulge in the front pocket of McIntosh's hoodie, he knew what it was.

The two men struggled, their hands both clasped to the gun.

"I knew if he got that gun out, I was going to die," Minor said.

McIntosh did free the gun from the hoodie. He pressed it toward Minor, who pushed the muzzle toward the center of his bulletproof vest.

"That was the only place I wanted to get hit," he said.

All the while, McIntosh's father yelled: "Stop! Stop!"

The men then crashed over a banister onto a neighbor's porch. Minor pried McIntosh's grip off the gun, and tossed it.

"My plan was, if he went for the weapon, I would draw mine," Minor said.

But McIntosh didn't go for the gun. Instead, he slid behind Minor, wrapped his legs around Minor's waist, and tugged on Minor's weapon, trying to free it from the holster. Now, Minor was fighting to keep McIntosh from loosening his holster latches.

"At that point, I knew he wasn't going to give up at all," he said. "The only thing going through my mind is that I'm still alive and as long as I'm still alive I'm going to fight."

As they fought, Minor heard the sirens of his backup - "music to me," he said.

When his backup came running, Minor yelled that McIntosh had his hands on his gun, and the officers cuffed McIntosh.

Searching the house, they found a semiautomatic pistol, which police believe McIntosh had dropped behind the door when Minor surprised him coming up the porch.

In the master bedroom, they found Patrice McIntosh.

Speaking of the woman, Minor's voice caught.

"I kind of beat myself up, thinking if I get their earlier, maybe -," he said, his voice trailing off.

After a moment, he said his life didn't flash before his eyes - that came later. As he fought, all he was thinking about was surviving.

215-854-2759 @MikeNewall