The ambush shooting that critically wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies prompted the widow of a Cincinnati police officer killed in the line of duty more than two decades ago to speak and share a message.
“I know what those families are going through,” Linda Pope wrote on Facebook Sunday night.
Her husband, Officer Daniel Pope, 35, and Specialist Ron Jeter, 34, were each shot in the back of the head just before midnight Dec. 5, 1997 as they tried to apprehend a domestic violence suspect.
Linda Pope was a Cincinnati firefighter when her husband and his partner were slain. Their dates of death are listed as Dec. 6, 1997 which would have been just five days shy of the Pope’s seventh wedding anniversary.
It is in that vein that Linda Pope took to social media Sunday night to share her story and, she tells us, a message.
Here is her Facebook post in its entirety:
“I have spent the afternoon thinking about the 2 LA County deputies who were ambushed last night. It has taken me back 22.5 years to the night my husband Dan and his partner Ron, were murdered in the line of duty.
"I remember the call at the firehouse where I worked. The lights coming on and our night watchman coming over to my bed. He sat on the edge of my bed and told me Dan had been involved in a shooting. In my gut I knew exactly what that meant.
"Fast forward about 1/2 hour. I arrived at the ER department at the University of Cincinnati Hospital. It’s where they take all of the injured police and fire for the best care in the city.
"I was numb. I remember so much and so little of that night. I knew it was the end to my old life and the beginning of my knew life. I knew at some point I would have to go to the bowels of that hospital and see my dead husband. It was surreal. I just couldn’t do it, but at some point I knew I had to.
"Enter the room. There is my Dan. Hospital gown on. Tubes coming out of his mouth. Eyes open, but dead. Brain matter over his face. Even though the tried to clean it up, it was still there. I remember that night as it is etched into my soul.
"I spent many hours that night remembering every inch of his being. Following his outline with my fingers, etching into my soul how his profile felt. I felt his outline of his arms, his body, his legs, every inch of him so I would never ever forget one single thing about him.
"I left the hospital that night with all I had left of my Dan. I prayed for hope. Hope that is there is something after death. That was all I had left.
"I share this with you as I ponder the lives of the 2 deputies that were shot by a coward last night. I know what those families are going through. You have this love of yours, either your child, spouse, father, brother, sister...it matters not. But you have this person who swore to make the world a better place...only to be gunned down by a coward. And then as you are getting ready to say goodbye, you encounter a group of people so foreign to your being, who are chanting that they hope your loved one dies...and your heart just shatters. Shatters into a million pieces. How could anyone feel this way about your loved one? One who swore to protect and serve? One who put others lives before their own? It makes no sense and it hurts your soul to the core.
“Is this the world we now live in? I am afraid it is. And I for one am scared. I am scared for all who inhabit this nation of ours. As we are slowly losing everything that matters to us...one peaceful protest at a time...."
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