DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs Police Chief Rodney Walker said when Cpl. Shawn Kelly died in June, Kelly’s son and family became part of a much larger family.
One example was Thursday morning when Cpl. Shawn Kelly’s son, Liam, 5, had a special escort on his first day of kindergarten.
Walker said law enforcement from Denham Springs PD, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, state police, Denham Marshal’s Office and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in the event. Officers met Liam at his house and escorted him to his school, where more law enforcement was ready to receive him.
“We plan to be a part of all Liam’s milestones from here on out,” Walker said. “It was just a ‘Wow’ feeling. I felt overwhelmed with pride. It just felt good to be there for Liam when Shawn couldn’t. It was a very touching moment.”
Kelly responded to a fight between a man and a woman in the parking lot off Range Avenue in Denham Springs on May 11, 2-23 When he arrived, there was a shootout between officers and Justin Roberts.
Kelly was shot multiple times. Roberts fled the scene and ended up in the parking lot of the old Albertson’s near Hwy 190 and Range. Other agencies responded. Roberts was shot in the head and chest and later died.
Kelly remained in critical condition for three weeks before he was taken off of life support in early June.
Walker said the last few months have been emotional.
“Just trying to find some sense of normalcy, get back to the day-to-day things and run the police department and serve in our community,” he said. “Everybody’s stepped up, and we’ve done just that. It’s just an honor to be able to walk this walk with the family, with Megan and Liam, and be there for them through all of this, and now we’re on the backside trying to pick up the pieces and do the best we can moving forward and we’re with him through that. It’s an honor to be able to do that.”
“We love Shawn, and we love his family just as much,” he added. “We’re now his (Liam) family, and I’d like to remind everybody that the law enforcement community, not just Denham Springs Police Department, we’re all his family now, and you will see that reflected in times like this.”