Boy thanks East Ridge Police officer for comfort after being frightened by gunfire
Memphis Dyer and his father, Dan Dyer, were preparing to spend quality time together, when a shooting happened just feet away from where they were.
A 10-year-old boy frightened by gunfire is thanking an East Ridge police officer.
Memphis Dyer and his father, Dan Dyer, were preparing to spend quality time together when a shooting happened just feet away from where they were. The shooting took place near the South Seminole Drive and Bennett Road intersection on Sunday.
Memphis and his dad were in a parking lot at South Seminole Baptist Church, which is about 450 feet away from where the shooting occurred.
"I don’t like to think of the worst case scenario, but if we were five minutes earlier, we would've heard it and possibly not have been okay," Memphis said.
Memphis and his dad were getting ready to race remote control cars in the church's parking lot like they do just about every weekend.
But when they arrived, their favorite spot was surrounded by police cars. They soon learned a shooting had taken place. Dyer says he immediately realized his son Memphis was not himself.
"It was kind of, I guess, a little shocking for him because being at that age and not really knowing what’s going on but it was really nerve-racking. It's very scary because there were actually several kids out there playing, and I mean, in a neighborhood like this, a stray bullet very well could have hit somebody or anything could have happened."
Moments later Memphis was greeted by East Ridge Officer Andrew Hackett. The 10-year-old says it made him feel safe. His dad caught the moment on camera.
"He let me turn on the light and get in the cop car, wear the vest, bulletproof vest; he let me punch it too, which that hurt," Memphis said. "It shows that cops aren’t as bad as people say they are. There’s everybody saying that cops are bad around here at this moment, but that’s not necessarily true."
Police say no one was hurt during the shooting, but it's still unclear who was responsible.
Meanwhile, this father and son duo is hoping their weekend hang out spot is safe the next time they visit.
"There’s a lot going on in East Ridge right now. I just hope it gets better," Dyer said.
Officer Hackett was unable to talk to us on camera, but sent this statement:
“I often meet kids and their parents. Sometimes the kids want to see inside the car and learn how the lights and siren work. This helps build trust with kids and their parents within our community and allows people to see that we are human. There are many police officers that do these things, but it is not often that those encounters are recorded.”