YORK COUNTY, S.C. - Six months ago, a York County police officer who dedicated himself to protecting his community and making a difference was killed in the line of duty.
Det. Mike Doty was shot and killed in York County by a domestic violence suspect.
For the first time, his parents and twin brother spoke out about their new mission to keep Doty’s memory alive.
Doty’s parents describe their son as devoted.
“He had a secret life, and the secret life was helping people,” father Bob Doty said.
- Hundreds pack Rock Hill police memorial service
- Thousands gather to honor slain York County Det. Mike Doty
- South Carolina Officers Shot: Detective dies from injuries
- IMAGES: 4 law enforcement officers shot in York County
- Obituary for Master Deputy II Micheal Robert Doty
“He was after interacting with the youth and helping them understand their intrinsic value were much greater than any drink or toke they might take,” mother Kathy Queen said. “He really made a difference.”
Bob Doty and Queen’s pride for their son is clear. They are also heartbroken.
“I miss him a lot,” Queen said. “When you're the mother of six kids, you recognize that one or more could proceed you to the Lord.”
In January, while searching for a domestic violence suspect, Doty was one of four officers shot.
He was the only one who didn’t survive.
“He always wanted to make sure he would be brave enough to do the right thing when the situation required, and he did,” Bob Doty said.
“Mike would have only wanted to be the one,” Queen said.
Christian McCall pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and other charges, and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
Channel 9 anchor Allison Latos asked Doty’s parents if they have forgiven McCall.
Both said they do.
“Absolutely, I think within minutes,” Queen said. “My God is much bigger than that.”
Mike Doty was a twin.
He and his brother Chris shared an incredible bond-- brotherhood and the badge.
Chris Doty is also a York County deputy and an active member of the North Carolina Air National Guard.
Chris Doty said he and his brother were best friends.
“When I deployed my last time, every week, he came over and took my daughter to breakfast to make sure she had that interaction,” Chris Doty said.
The family still has Mike Doty’s badge from his last assignment as a tribute to his life.
His brother's death hasn’t weakened Chris Doty's commitment to serve.
He told Channel 9 that every time he puts on his uniform, he’s reminded of his fallen brother.
The Doty family is determined to find joy in honoring Mike Doty's life.
With the help of friends, they created the 809 Foundation, which was named after Mike Doty’s police radio number.
The foundation is focused on two of Mike Doty's passions; helping children and fighting the opioid crisis.
“He was exactly where he wanted to be,” Queen said.
Queen said one of her favorite things about her son was that he “gave great hugs.”
The 809 Foundation will hold its first big fundraiser this weekend, a cornhole tournament on Saturday during the Fort Mill Main Street Jam.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.