Monday marks one year since shooting death of Savannah police sergeant

Monday marks one year since shooting death of Savannah police sergeant

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Monday marks one year since a Savannah police sergeant was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Savannah Police Department Sergeant Kelvin Ansari died one year ago on May 11.

Ansari was a dedicated public servant, husband, and father of six children. He was killed late that night on Bull Street in the Starland District as he and other officers were responding to an armed robbery call.

Savannah Police say the suspect snuck up on Ansari and his partner, shot them both, and then ran from the scene. Other officers tracked the suspect down and shot him. That man later died from his injuries at the hospital.

Sergeant Ansari would have been honored this week by a National Law Enforcement Memorial, but the public ceremonies have been postponed because of the Coronavirus. Instead, the officers’ names will be etched into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial without fanfare. There will also be a Digital Candlelight Vigil, which you can access through an app for National Police Week.

The Fraternal Order of Police says these officers will get full honors next year.

Today, Savannah Police Department leaders, including Sgt. Ansari’s fellow central precinct officers and others from the department participated in a memorial ride by the Sergeant’s home.

Jeffery Hilliard, Sgt. Ansari’s uncle, said, “Through the darkness there is hope, there is light. And each day the light gets a little bit brighter. We all get stronger. But we will never ever forget Kelvin Ansari.”

Speaking for the family, Hilliard said the show of support from the department today, and the support given by SPD over the past year has meant a lot.

“This is every chief’s worst nightmare, losing a member of the department in the line of duty," said Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter. "It was a tough time for me and it continues to be a tough time for the men and women of the Savannah Police Department. And that’s why we will continue to do the best job we can, and continue to honor his great memory and his legacy.”

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson added, “People took this personally, they took it to heart. And they’re still feeling the pain. So as much as this day, this ceremony commemoration is for the Ansari family, it’s also for our officers.”

“Our family, the Department, we’ve been through a lot. But we pull together. And as any family we rely on each other," said Savannah Police Lieutenant Torrance Garvin. “As you can tell, the amount of officers who came out today, knowing that we would not be having a police memorial, but just to show that love and support...his impact is felt not just on this department but through the community as a whole.”

Offering their continued support, including making sure Sgt. Ansari’s children go to college tuition-free, the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire brought flowers to the Ansari family for Mother’s Day.

“We pull our resources together and we’re able to help out our family members with a myriad of different issues they may have. And we’re standing by for Charlotte and the family just like Kelvin would want. We’re doing everything that Kelvin would want us to do," said 200 Club of the Coastal Empire President Mark Dana.

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