GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The wounds are still fresh in Girard, where officer Justin Leo was killed a month ago. Now, Girard’s police chief is ready to lend a helping hand to New Kensington’s department, which is dealing with a similar tragedy.
Officer Leo was killed Oct. 21 responding to a domestic call. Last Friday, New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw was shot and killed on duty — and it hit Girard Police Chief John Norman hard.
“It just hit me like a punch,” he said. “Shock, saddened — that’s how all the officers felt.”
Shaw was a rookie. The 25-year-old started in New Kensington — just outside Pittsburgh — July 1.
“Another young police officer,” Norman said. “A good person dying like that.”
Chief Norman understands what the New Kensington police family — and the entire community — is going through.
“We reached out because we were just in that situation,” he said. “We wanted to provide any help we could, any words that would help them.”
When Leo was killed, Chief Norman says it felt like he was in a fog.
“The first few days are tough — those are the toughest days,” he said. “I know the day after the funeral for Justin — even the following Friday — you can’t believe it happened.”
Chief Norman went to a ceremony for Shaw on Tuesday night in New Kensington. He says Girard got so much help, and his department is passing that help along to Shaw’s department.
“We were lucky here,” Norman said. “We have a lot of great agencies around us. When we went down last night, you could see the same. A real big brotherhood here.
“80 miles or eight miles or 800 miles — we’re still policemen.”
When it comes to the Girard police family they did the only thing they could.
“We went back to work,” Norman said. “We still have communities to protect. We know we have a lot of support, a lot of love from our communities and other law enforcement.”
After five days on the run, Rahmael Sal Holt was taken into custody Tuesday. Police say he is the man who shot and killed Shaw Friday night.
They used Shaw’s handcuffs to arrest him.