2017-08-09 / Opinion

One Officer Lives. One Dies

Jeremy Simon is a lucky man.

Simon is a Fulton County deputy sheriff. While he was approaching a stolen car Monday night, July 31, he took two rounds from a .40 caliber handgun– and lived.

A very similar situation occurred Sunday, Aug. 6, in Clinton, Mo., when Gary Michael, 37, an officer with the Clinton Police Department, was shot and killed.

The Kansas City Star website reports at about 10:45 pm CDT, Michael stopped a car for a registration violation. The driver got out of his car and fired one shot. Michael shot back, but authorities don’t know if he hit the suspect.

The man accused of shooting Simon is in jail now; as of Monday morning, Missouri law enforcement is still searching for a “person of interest” in Michael’s shooting.

Dan Miles, editor of the Clinton Daily Democrat, said it’s the first time a law enforcement officer has been killed in Clinton since a Missouri Highway Patrol officer died in a car crash there in the 1950s.

Miles, whose son is an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, said when an officer puts on a uniform, no one realizes the danger inherent in the job.

There is no explanation for why Jeremy Simon lived and Gary Michael died. Call it fate, karma, destiny, or just plain luck; one family is happy its loved one survived. Another is in shock and grief.

Say what you will about police officers or sheriff deputies. Curse them when they give you a traffic ticket. Complain when they serve you with some legal papers. Gripe when they confront you over a noise complaint.

But they are the ones who wear the uniform each day, putting their own lives on the line to protect us. They deserve our admiration and respect.

Jeremy Simon and Gary Michael’s family can attest to that.

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