Kids are always surprising us with the things they say. Oftentimes children have a way of simplifying very difficult situations with just a few words.
In the midst of one woman’s grief, her four-year-old daughter managed to make everything feel like it was going to be okay. After Colorado police officer, Zackari Parrish was shot and killed while tending to a domestic violence call, his wife Gracie was left behind with two young daughters. Following the shooting on Sunday, Gracie held a two-hour vigil at Mission Hills Church in Littleton, where she hoped to feel some solace during her intense time of grief. More than one thousand people packed into the church where Parrish and his family worshipped.
“I want to hear about him and I want to soak it in,” Gracie said as she openly wept. “I am overwhelmed by the love and support of the community and of the nation. Never in my world would I have imagined this. I will raise my girls to love you.”
As her emotions took over she started to have trouble keeping it together, until her four-year-old daughter said a few simple words. The little girl, who was being held by another family member, leaned over and whispered in her mother’s ear…”It’s okay momma, it’s okay. Just be happy.”
All it took were the words from a four-year-old to get people to start telling happy stories about Zackari. Other officers shared stories about his silly antics during roll call. And one officer talked about how he never had an off switch and always gave it his all. His brothers on the force made it clear that they will always take care of Gracie and her daughters and she will always be their sister.
“He was our brother, and now you will be our sister,” one officer said.
There was no shortage of kind words about the man who loved his family and his job.
To assist with the family’s funds, a GoFundMe page has been set up. So far, they have raised $230,000.
While the spouses of police officers are well aware that things can always go wrong while their husband or wife is on duty, it is never easy to lose someone. Zackari Parrish had been doing his job when he was involved in a deadly shootout that had left six people injured. Four of those people where deputies.
It all started when officials responded to a noise disturbance call at an apartment in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on Sunday morning. When they confirmed that there was no noise, they left the scene but were called back out two hours later for a domestic disturbance. When they arrived on the scene a second time, 37-year-old Matthew Riehl had barricaded himself inside the apartment. As soon as the deputies began to approach the apartment, he started firing at them. Evidently, Riehl had a prior reputation with the police department as he had been involved in disturbing online behavior. Police shot and killed him on the scene, however; Parrish was killed in the shootout and others were injured.