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A final goodbye: Tears and praise for police officer devoted to family, cops and God

Mooresville remembers K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon

Police officers and residents of Mooresville, N.C., came together on May 8, 2019 to remember slain Mooresville K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon. On May 10 they said goodbye at the officer's funeral at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.
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Police officers and residents of Mooresville, N.C., came together on May 8, 2019 to remember slain Mooresville K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon. On May 10 they said goodbye at the officer's funeral at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.

Police from across the region fought tears as family and friends gathered for the funeral Friday of slain Mooresville K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon, and recalled his devotion to family, fellow officers and God.

Sheldon’s friend, Mooresville Police Detective Austin Allton, told the gathering at Calvary Church in south Charlotte how the taillights of Sheldon’s patrol car would disappear in the distance as both responded to an emergency call.

He once asked his buddy why he took off so quickly to scenes. Sheldon replied that he wanted to make sure he had the back of any officer already at the scene.

Family, friends and fellow officers also recalled at the service how Sheldon always wore a smile and was devoted to God, and how he was only 11 when he walked to the front at a Billy Graham Crusade to accept Christ.

Sheldon, a 32-year-old officer who also served on the department’s SWAT team, was shot during what investigators called a routine traffic stop late Saturday on West Plaza Drive and died at a hospital.

The suspect, 28-year-old Michael Aldana of Mooresville, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Mooresville police.

A dispatcher announced that slain Mooresville K9 officer Jordan Sheldon's time of service was over in this "last call." The audio was played at the officer's funeral on May 10, 2019.

Friday’s service also included a procession of K9 officers saluting at Sheldon’s casket, their dogs by their side. Everyone sang “Amazing Grace” and Sheldon was given a seven-gun salute outside the church and the playing of Taps as the ceremony ended.

A procession of public safety vehicles arrived at the church for the 11 a.m. service from a funeral home in Concord . After the service, the procession traveled to the Mooresville Police Department, then later disbanded.

Allton also admired Sheldon’s calm during and after tense encounters with suspects. Shannon feared Sheldon had been seriously injured in 2018 when a call reported a suspect tried to run over Sheldon with his car.

Allton caught up with Sheldon at the police department later, and Sheldon was fine, he said. Before Shannon could even ask Sheldon if he was OK, he said Sheldon greeted him with: “Nice pants!”

Sheldon’s athleticism enabled him to dash out of the way of the car, according to his friend -- he played football at Central Cabarrus High School and soccer and baseball as a boy.

Sheldon always smiled, speakers at the service said. They recalled his love for his parents, brother and sister, fiancee and other family members — and his pet dogs, Rampage and Fitzgerald, his retired K9 partner, Loki, and current K9 Ramon. Ramon was with Sheldon but not hurt when the suspect shot Sheldon, police said.

Sheldon always knew his mission in life, speakers at his funeral said.

“Why are you a cop?” a police officer candidate asked Sheldon last year, Mooresville Deputy Police Chief Gerald Childress said at Friday’s funeral.

That’s easy, Sheldon replied. “I want to help others.”

At the end of Friday’s service, a 48-second audio clip titled “Last Call” brought more tears when it sounded over the church loudspeakers. The town of Mooresville emailed the clip to The Charlotte Observer and other media Friday night.

“Central, 123?” a dispatcher asks in the clip, getting no response. “Central, 123?

“All units be advised that 123 Canine Officer Jordan Sheldon’s watch has ended, and he has answered his highest and final call,” the dispatcher continues. “Godspeed, Officer Sheldon. Your canine partner, Ramon, and your brothers and sisters of the thin blue line will take it from here. Central clear.”


Correction

An earlier version of this story misidentified Mooresville Police Detective Austin Allton.


Harry Sheldon, the father of Mooresville Police Department Officer Jordan Sheldon addresses the crowd gathered in memory of his son who was killed on Saturday, May 4, 2019 during what investigators are calling a routine traffic stop.



Charlotte-Mecklenburg K9 Officer Darrell Brown and partner Addy are among those honoring slain Mooresville Police Department K9 Officer Jordan Sheldon on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Calvary Church in Charlotte, NC. Sheldon was shot and killed.

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