Deputy Kareem Atkins was killed in the shooting and leaves behind a wife and two children. Deputies Jaquim Barthen and Garrett were shot and wounded.
Richardson described the three men as “brothers.”
“They all met when they all joined the force, but you would think that they’ve been friends way before then,” het sy gesê “jakkals & Vriende.”
“All three of them came through for each other. Even it if was for me or for Atkins’ wife or for Barthen’s girlfriend,” sy het gese. “We were a family.”
Deputy Garrett is still recovering from his injuries. Richardson is hopeful but said her fiancé’s health is still a concern.
“He’s making it,” sy het gese. “I don’t want to say he’s doing OK because he’s not doing OK. He just had surgery yesterday again. That was his third surgery.”
Richardson was aware of the danger police officers face. She said she discussed it with her fiancé often and he was trained for situations like this.
Nietemin, she said she’ll never forget the phone call she received.
“They called me at 2:23 a.m.,” sy het gese. “When my phone rang and it wasn’t Darrell, I knew something was wrong.”
Richardson said Deputy Atkins had recently purchased a home with his wife. She said the couple was excited to start a new chapter in their lives together.
“I’m really just devastated,” sy het gese. “I just can’t stop the tears.”
Despite the pain she feels, Richardson thanked first responders for their care.
“They have really been supportive and keeping us at ease with everything,” sy het gese. “I appreciate them and I’m so grateful for what they have been doing. … I really do want to say thank you to everyone.”