Shocked, Sad, Scared-all emotions that quickly went through our minds after hearing 2 officers were killed last Saturday night and that gut punch, heart sick feeling has continued throughout this week with 2 more officers being killed.
Every time we hear that awful news it reminds us that another family will forever be changed...another department lost an officer...a city lost a protector. It is inspiring to see the outreach after a police officer is killed in the line of duty, but it all boils down to the individuals and their willingness to sacrifice.
Around 5:45 last Saturday Officer Christoper Brewster (above) responded to a domestic disturbance call in east Houston. A lady called because her boyfriend was assaulting her and he had weapons. A few minutes later Officer Brewster arrived and was fired upon as he exited his vehicle! He was hit multiple times and still drew his weapon and radioed in a description of the suspect to other officers. He showed up to help someone...got out of his car without his gun drawn likely hoping to diffuse the situation and because someone with a long criminal history didn’t want to be arrested he was shot and killed. His wife, parents, and sister will now be forever changed. Officer Brewster signed up to serve and protect the citizens of Houston and gave his life.
A few hours later in Arkansas a Fayetteville PD Officer - Officer Stephen Carr-was waiting in his patrol car for his partner and was shot execution style! The shooter had waited in an alley to kill this officer who, like Officer Brewster, had signed on for a life of service and sacrifice and paid dearly. The shooter was killed as other officers responded, chased down the suspect and engaged. This all happened right next to the city’s packed Christmas light event. People thought the shooter was at the event and were hiding in restaurants or running away, but it was right next door. The most amazing thing is that no matter who is in danger first responders would have come...running toward the active shooter while the rest of us try to get away.
That scenario is exactly was happened on Tuesday night. Shooters opened fire on a Jewish deli. Officers who were stationed only a block away responded immediately...heroically putting themselves in danger. These two officers were both shot-one fatally-and two other officers were also shot throughout the incident. Tuesday morning Detective Joe Seals said goodbye to his wife and 5 kids like all officers do at the beginning of a shift...expecting to come home at the end, but tragically he won't be coming home. This decorated officer had removed hundreds of illegal guns from the streets, climbed through a fire escape to stop a sexual assault on a 41 year old woman and countless other acts of heroism serving the people of Jersey City. His mom said he wanted to be a cop since he was young. She said "He followed his dreams. He wanted to be a police officer. It was all he's ever wanted to do and he accomplished it. Everyone loved him. He was a fair cop. He helped people." But even more than a loved cop, he was a beloved husband and father...who did everything with his 5 kids. Our hearts break for every family who has to go through what they are going through. His kids now have to grow up without him.
The sadness of this week doesn't end there...and officers didn't stop doing their jobs because their comrades had been killed in the line of duty. Thursday night in Nassau Bay Texas officers at a traffic stop were arresting a man on a warrant for assaulting a family member. The man fought the officers to get away, got back in his car and hit and killed veteran police officer Kaila Sullivan while he drove away. She was celebrating 16 years as an officer with the small department this month and is remembered for being a natural leader, a wonderful mother to her son, and someone who will be sorely missed every day. She'd conducted countless traffic stops, but every single call and every single stop is dangerous and could take a life.
This week has shown that no matter where you live-big city or small town officers are putting their lives at risk to protect each of us. We are so grateful-beyond what we can express-for those who literally put their lives on the line wearing the uniform. We will do whatever we can to let them know we see them and we appreciate them. We see your families who can never fully relax while their Officer is on shift. We see you giving your best efforts despite the lack of support. We see the struggles you face because of calls you’ve responded to. We will keep wearing our gear and delivering giveback shirts because that is what we can do and we will keep sharing your stories to remind others of the sacrifices being made every single day to keep our cities safe.