Hundreds honor fallen officer at Tuscaloosa County procession
TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A Mississippi police officer killed in the line of duty is now home in Alabama.
Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom’s body was escorted back to Tuscaloosa on June 10, and dozens, if not hundreds of people arrived to show their honor and respect.
“It’s just a sad, sad day,” said Owen Skinner.
“I hate it,” said Ricky Wilson. “There’s no words and you just pray things like this don’t happen, but they do.”
Police motorcycle and vehicles lined one by one with lights flashing and sirens blaring to bring the officer back home.
After being shot and killed on Thursday in the line of duty, friends, family, and supporters of the Croom family watched the procession in a state of mourning.
Some of the spectators know the Croom family, who is highly respected in the area.
“We knew them well,” said Skinner. “Our children went to school with some of them.”
“I have known the Croom family for years, since I was a child, and they have always been stand up community members,” said Bridget Hughes Hurst.
She is the president of the Tuscaloosa Alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and says Officer Croom’s mother and sisters are members of the sorority.
“This is a deep cut to the community,” she added. “This is a loss for our entire community.”
That’s why so many people parked and stood on the side of the road Friday, to show honor and respect.
“It hits home,” said Owen Wilson. “It hits home. Our first responders are the modern day heroes.”
Though he didn’t know the officer, his own son is a Tuscaloosa police officer and he is a volunteer firefighter.
“It’s sad that it takes occasions like this to really get a lot of people’s attention about what first responders do every day and the danger that’s involved,” he added.
“This young man gave his life in service to this country and protecting our community,” said Owen Skinner.
“We just want them and everyone around to know how much they are loved,” said Bridget Hughes Hurst.
A balloon release honoring Officer Croom is planned for June 11 at 3:00 p.m. in Harmon Park. The funeral is expected to be one week later, on Saturday, June 18 at Shelton State.
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