Community celebrates life, service of slain MPD officer
Accompanied by his son's co-workers at the Mooresville Police Department, Harry Sheldon speaks at a community vigil on Wednesday evening.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Hundreds of people attended a vigil in downtown Mooresville on Wednesday evening to show their love for slain K-9 Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon and their support for his grieving brothers and sisters at the Mooresville Police Department.
Sheldon, 32, was fatally wounded during a traffic stop on West Plaza Drive on Saturday, May 4. His funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at Calvary Church in Charlotte.
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting, Mayor Miles Atkins said the town had been "utterly devastated" by Sheldon's death. In the days that have followed, the police department has received an outpouring of support from the community as well as nearby law enforcement agencies, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.
Police officials have not revealed a motive for the shooting and the man who shot Sheldon reportedly took his own life after fleeing the scene, leaving more questions than answers for those closest to the officer, who was engaged to be married at the time of his death.
"For those of us who can't wrap our arms around what happened, we can wrap our arms around each other," Mayor Atkins said during Wednesday's community vigil.
A parade of chaplains and fellow officers followed the mayor to the podium, offering prayers for the community, for Sheldon's biological family and his public safety family. He was remembered as a compassionate and dedicated officer, who served with honor on the MPD's Special Response Team and K-9 Unit.
The officer's father shared a story about the day his son, whom he called Jordy, told him during his junior year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, that he was abandoning his engineering studies to pursue a career in law enforcement. Knowing that his father would not support the decision, Sheldon brought his pastor with him for backup.
"I said, 'Why? You always wanted to be an engineer,' " Harry Sheldon said. "He said, 'You always wanted me to be an engineer.' "
Even though he did not have his father's blessing, Sheldon had a plan and, after earning his bachelor's degree, he completed law enforcement training. He had no shortage of job opportunities, turning down offers to work for multiple federal law enforcement agencies to work in Mooresville.
A former postal worker, Harry Sheldon's love for his son and pride in his life's work were palpable. "I had a stroke," he said, still a little unsteady on his feet. "Jordy learned me how to walk and talk again."
He expressed his appreciation for the love and support the community showed his son during his six-year career, including in the moments after he was shot when a woman prayed with him.
"Thank you, Mooresville," he said. "Thank you. Jordy loved you!"