More than a year ago, five officers were attacked and killed at the end of a rally in downtown Dallas. After the deadly attack in Texas, a Lee’s Summit firearms retailer and training facility said it would dedicate the month of August to all men and women in law enforcement, including those who have died and those serving now.
Outside its store Wednesday night, about a dozen people gathered in front Frontier Justice for a vigil where Pastor Fel Bagunu, a Lee’s Summit police chaplain and lead pastor at GracePointe Community Church, led a prayer.
The vigil, which had been planned for weeks, was held three days after the community lost Thomas Orr III, a 30-year-old Lee’s Summit police officer who was off duty when he was fatally shot after a party in Westport. This week, police said Orr, who was also a middle school resource officer, was not the target of the shooting in Westport, but an innocent bystander. A funeral for Orr was held Thursday at Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit.
Earlier this month, another officer, about 60 miles away from the Kansas City area, died after a shooting. Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael, 37, was shot and killed as he was conducting a traffic stop. Michael had been with the Clinton Police Department for less than a year.
Bren Brown, president and co-founder of Frontier Justice, said every August is “Back the Blue” month in honor of police officers who have died. In reference to recent police officer killings, the business said showing appreciation for officers and their families is especially important now.
“It’s always a tragedy, like when the officer in Clinton was shot in line of duty. Everybody feels that pain, but we feel the same pain when an officer is shot outside of the line of duty as well,” Brown said. “It’s just violence against officers. It was random, but the loss is still sudden and tragic and affects the whole police force in the same way.”
In addition, during the month of August, Frontier Justice offered free range time for any officer with identification, but throughout the year, it said it’s offering special discounts to qualified law enforcement officers and agencies through its Law Enforcement/Wholesale division, which was launched earlier this year.
For more information, visit www.frontier-justice.com.