Coastal Empire reacts to officer-involved shooting

Coastal Empire reacts to officer-involved shooting

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -Sergeant Kelvin Ansari’s shooting on Saturday night leaves many in Savannah and Hinesville shaken.

For officers, the precinct is part of their home. It’s where they grab lunch everyday. They know the streets backwards and forwards. They get to know the community. In the same way, this Starland District community got to know Sgt. Ansari.

Local business owners in the area say there’s no other way to put it but a devastating loss. Especially because these business owners say they saw Sgt. Ansari coming into their shops and patrolling their neighborhood.

Lester Anthony, owner of Lester’s Florist, says they have been working on several different orders throughout the day for the family and the memorial.

“I’m going to do all that we can to make it easier and make it a memorial type thing, so they can remember the flowers as they remember him and his hard work serving our country and serving our Savannah community,” said Anthony.

Lester says he was able to get to know Sgt. Ansari as he came in from time to time ordering flowers for his wife.

The Hinesville Police Department is also showing their respects for Sgt. Ansari.

The Department is flying their flags at half staff on Monday, as well as wearing mourning badges and black ribbons to honor the fallen police officer. Captain Howard with the Hinesville Police Department says they had met Sgt. Ansari at the police academy before. He says when one life is lost, it’s a loss for the entire police family.

“A lot of times people forget that police officers are human beings and we have emotions," said Captain Howard. "We have families. We have each other at times and we form a work family. To know he left his home just like we do everyday, with it often being on your mind is this the last time or is this the last day and it was for him.”

"It just takes the wind out of your system, your heart, it's a psycological blow, it's an emotional blow, it's a terrible experience."

Coastal Empire reacts to officer-involved shooting

Rincon Police Chief Mark Gerbino is one of many who knew Sgt. Ansari.

As he and many others mourn the loss of a man who not only served his country, but his local community, Gerbino says this loss cuts deep.

“He and I started in 2008, I didn’t cross paths that much with him, I remember him, he’s a brother and it’s crushing, it’s crushing to lose a brother,” said Chief Gerbino.

Rincon K9 officer Mitchell Adderton says he got the chance to cross paths with Sgt. Ansari during his training and no matter the department, the loss is being felt near and far.

“It just really hurts losing anybody and it definitely puts everybody on their toes, just reminds you how quick that in this line of work, your life can be taken away from you; definitely watch yourself,” said Adderton. “A department is just another jurisdiction, it’s just a different patch, we’re all police officers, at the end of the day we lose one it hurts every single one of us.”

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