MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Hundreds of people showed their support Wednesday evening as they honored fallen Mooresville police officer Jordan Sheldon.
“This is a celebration,” Sheldon’s father, Harry Sheldon, said to the large crowd. “This is a victory.”
The K-9 officer was shot and killed last Saturday night during a traffic stop.
The town of Mooresville hosted a vigil Wednesday night outside the town hall, with officers, the community and town officials.
"I've been in front of the police station three times a day, just watching all the tributes grow and grow," Mooresville resident Joy Mauny said.
Mooresville is going through grief but on the path to restoration.
"We grieve for the loss of such a young and good man that served our community,” the chaplain said Wednesday night.
Harry Sheldon said his son first pursued a career in engineering but always had the passion to protect and serve in law enforcement. Jordan Sheldon changed his major at UNC Charlotte after two years.
“Jordan, with his beautiful blue eyes, leaned in across the table on his elbows and said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to be an engineer,’” Harry Sheldon told the crowd.
He didn’t support his son’s decision in the beginning.
“I tried to get him to go to the FBI,” the father said. “He said, ‘No.’ Drug enforcement? He said, ‘No.’”
Jordan Sheldon wanted to serve the town that he loved and called home – Mooresville.
Harry Sheldon also talked about the night his son died and thanked witnesses who stopped to help him.
“Pulled over and put their hands on Jordan’s body,” Harry Sheldon said. “The lady put her hands on his wound and prayed and held his hand in his dying moments. Thank you, Mooresville."
While the loss of his son still pains him, Harry Sheldon said his heart has been aching for the shooter's family too.
“The shooter died, and that night in the hospital, maybe his mother, his mother heard that her son took his own life,” Harry Sheldon said. “I cried again, thinking about his mother in another room who was weeping with your chaplains. So, it’s a sad, sad situation for everybody.”
"My God, everybody is here,” said Tiffany Tratnyek, who paid her respects Wednesday prior to the vigil. “I'm looking at this, and my heart is breaking."
Channel 9 witnessed a touching scene on Tuesday outside the Mooresville Police Department where a group of Boy Scouts traveled from out of town to the memorial site to honor Sheldon.
Some of the scouts said the officer often showed up at their school, bringing his K-9, Ramon, to show off tricks. Once even showing up with a SWAT team for a demonstration.
"He was just amazing,” Scout Christopher Zimmerman said. “His dog was very enthusiastic. He taught us about drugs and how the dogs could find it within seconds."
The scouts lined the streets in honor of Sheldon.
Next week is National Police Week and Iredell County is dedicating it to Sheldon.
Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell spoke about how, even after Sheldon's death, he's seen a lot of good.
“Strong relationships are forming,” he said. “Strengthening is happening between us and the community. Our friendships are forged a little tighter as we turn in comfort and support.”
Police escorted Sheldon's body from Charlotte to Concord on Tuesday -- an enormous tribute.
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