Traffic stops are a common part of an officer's day. To keep everyone on the road safe, they pull over cars they see speeding or otherwise driving erratically.
However, traffic stops do not always go smoothly.
In Stanley, Virginia...
On the afternoon of February 27th, Officer Dominic Winum pulled a car over on Judy Lane.
However, Winum never left his vehicle. According to WHSV, the suspect, 29-year-old Stanley resident Dakota Richards, stepped out of his vehicle first, fatally shooting Winum.
Page County Sheriffs found Richards hiding in a barn. After making threatening movements, he was shot and killed by deputies.
In Brinson, Georgia...
On Saturday night, Decatur County Sheriff Lieutenant Justin Bedwell joined the pursuit of a truck driving recklessly. According to WCTV, the chase was initiated by Seminole County Sheriffs.
However, Decatur County Sheriffs's joined the pursuit when it crossed into their county. The suspects began firing from their vehicle at the pursuing officers.
They shot at Bedwell's vehicle wounding the DCSO officer. Bedwell succumbed to his injuries Monday morning at the hospital. Officers took both suspects into custody.
Bedwell leaves behind his wife and daughter, while Winum leaves behind his wife and four children.
Support for both of these officers and their families has been pouring out of their communities.
Bainbridge Public Safety posted, "Lt. Justin Bedwell's sacrifice will be forever remembered, and we hope that the outpouring of love to his family and friends will help in some small way during this extremely difficult time."
The town of Stanley has erected a memorial outside of the Stanley Police Department filling with flowers, cards, signs, and even donuts in honor of Winum.
“Very shocked. He was a really good guy. Treated everybody with utmost respect, so you couldn’t ask for a better officer.”Virginia State Trooper Brandon Tester
There is No Routine...
Many aspects of a first responders job may seem routine on the outside. A simple traffic stop, which seems like the most basic job an officer performs, is still incredibly dangerous.
While an officer may believe they are just pulling someone over to give them a ticket, they have no idea who the other person is and what they may be thinking.
Unfortunately, in these two cases, both officers lost their lives before they could even speak to the suspects leaving behind their families and communities.