PERRYVILLE, Ark. — An officer who died in the line of duty received a hero’s sendoff Monday night. Perry County detention officer, Jeremiah Story, was shot at the jail Wednesday night during the booking process of an inmate’s arrest.
That same building is where those who knew the 21-year-old best honored his memory. By candlelight, friends, family, and coworkers chose to dwell on the young man’s life over his death.
Story had been working as a detention officer in Perry County for almost a year. He was also in the Arkansas Army National Guard and had hoped to one day become a state trooper.
Service was important to the young man as was a making those around him their best, including the inmates who also attended the vigil tonight on the other side of the jail fence.
James Stewart, the Chaplin of Perry County’s detention center before the shooting remarked on Story’s genuine playfulness, his work effort, and how he always made people smile, including those inmates.
“He has been loved by a lot of different people, not just outside but inside. If you see the guys (inmates) right here on my left, you will see that they cared about him just as much as the rest of us, He was kind of the example setter that I would use when I talked to my brothers in there. That’s exactly the type of person I used as an example setter because he was that 1 out of 10.”
State Police are investigating Story’s death. They say Roderick Deshawn Lewis shot Story with a gun he brought into the jail as he was being booked. Story died from his injuries at a nearby hospital, and Lewis has since been charged with capital murder.
It’s a hard truth to accept that Story died in one of the most secure places in Perry County, but Stewart trusts God will work through the terrible tragedy to do great things.
“Lives are changing because of Jeremiah. Lives will change because of Jeremiah because he was loved,” Stewart insisted.