The Blue Family is in mourning today after losing yet another officer.

It happened on Saturday night in Puerto Rico.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Police Officer Jesus Marrero-Martínez was shot and killed while trying to stop a carjacking attempt while off duty.

Police Officer Jesus Marrero-Martínez

Courtesy: Facebook

He and his friend had gone to a club on PR 686, in Vega Baja, but hadn’t realized it was closed.

When they got there, three masked men confronted them and demanded their car keys.  Police say his friend handed them over, but Officer Marrero-Martínez identified himself and drew his weapon.

There was an exchange of gunfire in which he shot and killed one of the suspects.  But then he was hit in the back and arm.  The two other suspects took off.

Police are now asking anyone with any information to please contact them.

Officer Marrero-Martínez had been with the Manatí Municipal Police Department for 16 years.   He leaves behind his wife and four children. His End of Watch was Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Here are the other officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in May 2019 while trying to protect the lives of Americans.

May

Auburn Police Officer William Buechner was killed in the shooting last Sunday night.  According to Auburn Police Chief Paul Register, it started when Buechner and Officers Webb Sistruck and Evan Elliott responded to a call about domestic violence.

William Buechner

Officer William Buechner

 

The call was at a mobile home park about five miles west of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

When the officers arrived, a suspect opened fire, fatally wounding Buechner.

Sistruck and Elliott were also wounded.  According to police, Elliott was treated and released from a hospital and Sistruck is listed in “satisfactory” condition at Piedmont Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia.

A massive manhunt was launched by state and federal law enforcement agencies, and thanks to tips in the community, the suspect was captured at 7:12 a.m. on Monday.

Grady Wayne Wilkes

Grady Wayne Wilkes

 

Police said 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes was arrested and is being charged with capital murder.  If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

“You shoot a police officer, we’re going to pursue the death penalty,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said at a news conference Monday. “Absolutely.”

Wilkes was arrested about a mile from where the incident took place and is now being held in the Lee County jail.

In addition to the capital murder charge, he’s also facing three counts of attempted murder and a charge of domestic violence in the second degree.

According to Hughes, the suspect isn’t entitled to a bond because of the capital murder charge and “we don’t anticipate him having a bond.”

According to Hughes, Wilkes will sit before a judge soon and will have an opportunity to request a preliminary hearing.

Register said that he didn’t have much information about the suspect, but said he “is someone we were not familiar with before this incident” and said Wilkes “was in the military for a number of years.”

He could not, however, confirm which branch or for how long.

“We are thankful, at least, that the person that initially contacted us and these officers went to help was not injured and was able to escape the situation,” Register said.

The police chief attributed the arrest to a combination of citizens reporting suspicious activity and law enforcement doing their job, calling the arrest “relatively uneventful.”

“He was cooperative in conversations with law enforcement,” Register said.

Register said he doesn’t recall another police killing in his community during his stint there over the last three decades.  He praised the three officers for exuding competence and dedication, and called Buechner a “very fine” officer.

“All fine young men,” he said.

He asked for support for their loved ones.

“Please keep those families in your thoughts. They are dealing with the unthinkable at this time,” he told reporters.  It’s a difficult time for our entire community.”

The shooting happened only a few miles from a similar massive response in February on Wire Road. That was where an Auburn police officer was shot during a traffic stop of a robbery suspect and the suspects later were found in an apartment complex.

In that incident, officers from multiple agencies, including a special task force, engaged that night in heavy gunfire at Crossland Downs apartment complex on Stonegate Drive, off Wire Road.

When that shooting happened, emergency responders quickly evacuating residents there and warning others nearby and across from the Auburn University vet school to shelter-in-place.

The officer injured in that shooting survived and is recovering, but the two were killed in a shootout and subsequent fire in the apartment where they sought refuge.

At about 1 a.m. Monday, Auburn University issued a text and 911 phone alert:

“Massive police presence near Arrowhead Mobile Home Park off of Wire Rd, approx 5 miles west of Vet School. Avoid area until further notice.”

Also lost last weekend was a Pennsylvania State Trooper who died on the job on last Saturday afternoon.

It happened in Bucks County at about 11:30 a.m..  Trooper Donald Brackett was found outside of his squad car on I-276 westbound in Bucks County.

Trooper Donald Brackett

He was found by Troopers from Trevose and King of Prussia after Brackett did not respond to radio transmissions, officials said.

Police say it appears he suffered some kind of a medical episode.

“All personnel of the Pennsylvania State Police are deeply affected by this loss,” Lieutenant Colonel Evanchick said . “Our thoughts are with Trooper Brackett’s family and friends as they mourn his sudden passing.”

Brackett, a United States Marine Corps veteran, worked out of the King of Prussia barracks, where he had been a trooper since October of 2001.

He was only 58 years old. His End of Watch was 5/18/19.

Sgt. Kelvin Ansari

Sergeant Kelvin Ansar

Sergeant Kelvin Ansari’s End of Watch was Saturday, May 11, 2019.  He was shot and killed as he tried to apprehend a robbery suspect.

He and other officers had responded to a robbery that occurred at a barbershop in the 2300 block of Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia.  They thought the suspect had left the area, but he was actually inside a nearby vehicle. When Sergeant Ansari checked the area, the man exited and opened fire on him and another officer, hitting them both.

The subject was found a short time later hiding in a shed in a nearby residential area. As responding officers ordered him to surrender, he exited the shed and started shooting again.  Officers returned gunfire and killed him.

Sergeant Ansari had retired from the U.S. Army, then served with the Savannah Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and four children.

 

Constable Willie Houston Hoot West

Constable Willie Houston Hoot West

Constable Willie Hoot West died three days after his vehicle left the roadway and hit a tree on Harrison Road in Mississippi.

He was serving civil papers when the crash happened just before 8:00 am on May 6th, 2019. He was rushed to North Mississippi Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The 81-year-old had served as the elected constable of Lowndes County’s District 1 since 1971 and was serving his 13th consecutive term.  Before that, he had served with the Columbus Police Department and Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

In total, he had a total of 52 years of law enforcement service and was a founding member and first president of the Mississippi Constables Association.

Constable West is survived by his son, two daughters, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, mother, brother, and two sisters.

 

Trooper Mathew Gatti

Trooper Mathew Gatti

Trooper Matthew Gatti

The 24-year-old Tennessee State Trooper was killed on May 6 while responding to a call about a fire along Interstate-40.

Police said that while heading to the scene, he lost control of his cruiser and hit two tractor-trailers.

June would have marked his one-year anniversary of joining the state’s Highway Patrol.

 

Officer Neri was 63. (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Police Officer Anthony Neri

The 63-year-old Neri officer in Sanibel, Florida “passed away of natural causes” on May 6 after he “collapsed during a training exercise”.

He also had a 30-year career as a Revenue Officer with the U.S. Department of Treasury, while also serving as a police officer in New Jersey’s Union Township.

 

Police officer John McKeithen

Police officer John McKeithen

Police Officer Robert McKeithen

Officer McKeithen was an Air Force veteran and longtime officer with the Biloxi Police Department in Mississippi.  Police say he was gunned down in the parking lot of their headquarters on May 5.

In 2005, McKeithen earned a Medal of Valor for saving special needs children from a flooded home during Hurricane Katrina.

His 24-year police career came to an end when the suspect shot him multiple times.  His suspected killer has since been arrested.

 

Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon

Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon

K9 Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon

On May 4, 32-year-old Officer Sheldon was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Mooresville, N.C., outside of Charlotte.

It’s still unknown why he stopped the suspect’s vehicle, but the alleged killer was later found dead in his apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Sheldon had served with the department for six years and was with his K9 dog Ramon at the time of the shooting.

We leave you with this video that our team at Law Enforcement Today just produced with our friends at Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

God bless you all.