As I was telling someone earlier, I heard this on the radio this morning. He is not from our area, but it doesn't matter. Anyone who sends out an officer down call, the responders getting shot and killed in front of him, and laying there waiting for 2 1/2 hours seeing his fellow officers dead bodies and wondering if he is going to die before help arrives deserves all the cards he can get. If you can find the time to drop a card in the mail, please do so.
Virginia Deputy Sheriff Shane Charles is at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta. On March 13, Shane and Deputy Eric Rasnake responded to a trespass call. They arrived to find a sniper with a .223 caliber rifle, scope, and bipod who shot both deputies. Shane put out an officer down call. The next two deputies who arrived – Neil Justus and Billy Stiltner - went in to rescue the injured officers, and both were shot and killed by the sniper. Shane told me that the closest SWAT team to his town was 2 hours away This SO is a 33 person department. Losing 2 deputies and having 2 critically injured has been tragic. Today I spoke with a dispatcher who was on duty that day and she cried. It goes without saying that the department is going through the classic response to a traumatic incident. Shane told me yesterday that it appeared the sniper was in a dispute with a neighbor, and he went to the back of the neighbor’s property to shoot the entire family. These deputies are true heroes. Shane is paralyzed from the waist down, but he believes he will walk out of the Shepherd Center. He is going through physical therapy and will have more surgery (he has a shattered vertebra that they will operate on soon). Last week, while still in ICU, Shane was very depressed and he and his family were all alone. But that didn’t last long at all when the LE community found out he was here!! Shane has become much more positive. He has started a great patch collection, he’s receiving cards and letters and words of encouragement from all who visit him. Shane’s family is so grateful that people care. I am not exaggerating when I say that the Charles family are the most humble people I’ve ever met. They come from a tiny little town in coal mining country, and they are proud people. Officers from several agencies have come to see him, even two officers from Macon! If anyone has the time to visit him at Shepherd’s, he would be thrilled. Shane described the incident and how he laid in the yard for 2.5 hours waiting to for someone to get to him. The cards he is starting to receive really cheer him up, and he reads them all. If you have a school and the kids would like a project, sending him cards is great, or a poster or something made by children. The address to send things to is: Deputy Shane Charles, Room #411 Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Rd., NW, Atlanta, GA 30309