As I sit writing this, I think back almost nine years ago when I received notification from the Merced Police Department that my husband, Stephan Gray, had been shot and killed by a Merced gang member.
The following days were filled with tears and feelings of sadness, confusion and frustration. I sat in the recliner that Stephan used to sit in as he watched his favorite football games and wondered why he was chosen at such a young age to be killed by a gang member who celebrated when he learned that he had "killed a cop." I wondered how I was going to explain to my children that a "bad guy" had killed their daddy. My children have always been taught to respect police officers and firefighters because those are the "good guys" that always help you.
About two weeks prior to my husband's killing, he told me that because the police department was short-staffed, officers were to ride alone in order to give the appearance of more manpower on the streets.