Somehow it’s missed the national news (not to harp on news agenda…I have great friends working in news…but this wasn’t racial or hate motivated…it was just tragic, so they didn’t cover it)…but we had an officer who lost his life just down the road from our house this week.
Wednesday morning, I saw the headline “Two officers shot in NWA”. Well, I’ll be honest. It was early in the morning and I was working and I didn’t want to worry my heart…so I saved the link to go back and read later.
Well, it turns out the news station was sort of wrong. We consider NWA to be the Fayetteville/Rogers area about an hour north. The shooting was actually happening here. In the tiny town where we live. 2 miles from my house.
Not long after, I saw more and more news updates and I couldn’t ignore it. I saw that officers from different departments (one was our local small town police chief, a county deputy, and an officer from another local department) were all responding and two were shot.
Pretty much every local department (including Tyler’s) were called in to help find the shooter, who was on the lose for a while before they had a standoff with him for hours. Thankfully, Tyler was off work and asleep at home. He had no idea what was happening to his brothers in blue just miles from our home.
One officer lost his life. A gunshot to the neck. He left for work that morning and never came home. There was a police escort of his body to the state crime lab.
You see it on the news, but this hit closer to home. Literally. Tyler’s department was called out there to respond. I try not to worry most days. I try not to think about the “what ifs” and the “could happens”. I try to imagine him on mundane traffic stops and apprehending people who steal beer from gas stations. But it’s not always like that. Sometimes you respond and someone draws a gun and shoots you.
I was heartbroken. I couldn’t wait to get home and hug Tyler. To tell him that he’s my hero. That he can care for people and run into danger amazes me. I had to pray and ask for protection and thank God for loaning Tyler to me. I prayed we get a long life together, but promised to trust God with him.
In the midst of all of this, we found out that a K-9 officer (a dog) was also shot and was missing after the event. They spent the last like 48 hours searching for her. But thank goodness, they found her this morning! A bright spot in the midst of this dark.
I may have cried when the police department said he was found and posted this picture.
Next week, I’ll attend my first police funeral. I didn’t personally know the officer, but he’s one of us. As much as sometimes I feel disconnected from the “police life” since I feel like he works his job and we do our own life, I am part of this community. We have to stand together.
I pray that our community doesn’t endure a tragedy like for a long, long time. But the support has been amazing. I’ll be standing behind my officer and his brothers and sisters in blue.
I wish I had more eloquent words or more profound thoughts. All I can say is I’m proud of my husband and his coworkers. I’m thankful he is safe. I’m heartbroken that an officer was killed. I’m thrilled the K-9 officer was found. I’m praying for safety and peace.