Killed in the line of duty. Chilling words that you never get used to. But it's particularly hard to digest when it happens for the first time. That was the case in Pearl Tuesday. Sadly, those words have been repeated several times throughout the metro area.
It's tough duty for any police chief addressing the media about one of his or her officers, killed in the line of duty.
The death of Michael Walter, a Pearl Police Department investigator, was a first for this 39-year-old municipality. Unfortunately, it's a scene more familiar to Pearl's much larger neighbor, Jackson. In this decade alone, two JPD officers lost their lives in service. In 2005, Officer Thomas Catchings was flagged down by a motorist who had just been carjacked; trying to help the victim when an 18-year-old gunned him down. Catchings was on his way home from a motorcycle training exercise and not wearing a bullet resistant vest. He was 41.
As recent as 2010, rookie Officer Glen Agee was shot to death trying to apprehend an escapee from a transport vehicle. The 31-year-old Collins native left behind a 4-month-old child.
In the 1990's, five Jackson police officers made the ultimate sacrifice. This website, called Officer Down Memorial Page, lists every officer in Mississippi, by county, who died in the line of duty, since the 1800's. It has now been updated to include Pearl police investigator Michael "Mike" Walter.
There's a quote on the Officer Down Memorial Page by founder Chris Cosgriff which states, "When a police officer is killed, it's not an agency that loses an officer, it's an entire nation."
To access the Officer Down Memorial Page, just click on this link.
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