MOORESVILLE, N.C. — The Charlotte area said its final goodbyes to a hero Friday as fallen K-9 Officer Jordan Sheldon was laid to rest.
The 32-year-old was a 6-year veteran of the Mooresville Police Department. He was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, May 4.
Thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country came to Charlotte to pay their respects to Sheldon.
The Mooresville community will not let Sheldon's death be in vain.
Flowers and signs honoring Sheldon remained outside the Mooresville Police Department, and a sign inside the front lobby with Sheldon's photo garnered hundreds of signatures and comments thanking him for his service to the community.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up in Officer Sheldon's memory. As of 4 p.m. Friday, it raised $1,875, exceeding the $1,000 goal.
Sheldon was known by many nicknames, including "Officer Smiley" because of the big smile he always had on his face. His reputation as a Good Samaritan followed him throughout his life. His family said Sheldon was kind, thoughtful, charismatic, and easy going, and he always saw the best in everyone.
Sheldon's funeral service took place at Charlotte's Calvary Church at 11 a.m. Friday. During the funeral, Sheldon's best friend, Ryan Shannon, walked his retired K-9 partner, Loki. Shannon is a K-9 officer in Florida.
"They do so much for our community. They keep us safe. And unfortunately these days they seem to be targets and its got to stop. It’s just, it breaks my heart. It really does," said a person outside Calvary Church.
Following the service, a procession of more than 2,500 emergency vehicles escorted him back to Mooresville. The community showed its support for Sheldon by lining the roads along the procession route.
"I just really wanted to come out and show my support for the family and for the fellow officers and just show them that they’re not alone," said Brianne Hostutler, wife of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer.
The procession left Calvary and took Rea Road to the I-485 outer loop. They followed the outer loop to I-77 North and into Mooresville. The procession then made its way north on Highway 115 through downtown Mooresville before reaching the Mooresville Police Department.
Schools in Mooresville released students early Friday due to the procession.
According to his obituary, Officer Sheldon was born March 4, 1987 in Charlotte. He was a graduate of Central Cabarrus High School and earned a degree from UNC Charlotte in criminal justice. After completing additional training at Central Piedmont Community College, he joined the Mooresville Police Department.
"There was, you know, no one you could find that would say something bad about him, or he was a harsh policeman, or he didn’t care about the citizens, because he did," said the mother of a Mooresville Police officer.
On Wednesday, a celebration of life was held for Sheldon outside Town Hall in Mooresville. Thousands of people attended the vigil to thank Sheldon for his service and to show support for his family and the law enforcement community.
“I had the opportunity to serve with a man who had a golden heart and soul of a warrior," one attendee said. “There’s no other better cop than Sheldon I promise you that. The man was scared of nothing.”
Sheldon's father mustered that same strength to thank the crowd, as well as the individuals who tried to save his son.
“They put their hands on Jordy’s body, put their hands on his wounds and prayed and held his hands in his dying moments," he said. "Thank you, Mooresville.”
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