Arizona Police Still Recovering After Marshal's Killing

Arizona Police Still Recovering After Marshal's Killing

My journalism class had the honor of speaking with Arizona's U.S. Marshal, and he dug deep about the death of his colleague and friend.

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Nearly five months after the death of Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, the officers who worked beside him continue to heal.

White was killed on November 29, serving an arrest warrant to Ryan Schlesinger, 26, who had been stalking Tucson police.

A team of deputy marshals and police surrounded Schlesinger's home when he opened fire through a window, shooting and killing White, who was on the side of the house.

"We're still dealing with it," said U.S. Marshal David Gonzales in a discussion with a class of Cronkite journalism students. "Could you imagine seeing one of your brothers and sisters being shot and killed right in front of you?"

White served with the United States Marshals Service for three years and was also a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. The day of his death was to be his last day before being activated for military service.

Gonzales informed the class that the Marshals Service arrests about 6,000 fugitives a year in the District of Arizona alone and that this particular sector of law enforcement is especially dangerous. "U.S. marshals have more deputies killed in the line of duty than all federal agencies combined," he said.

White was the first deputy U.S. marshal to be killed on duty in Tucson in 66 years.

Gonzales explained that those who knew him have been handling the trauma of his death in their own ways. "Some deal with it pretty well, others, we monitor, and we assure that they get the help that they need to deal with those emotions," he said.

White was also a husband as well as a father to four children whose ages range from 7 to 14. During the discussion, Gonzales recounted the many emotions experienced on the day of his death, one of the hardest being talking to White's wife and kids.

However, in the moments after White had passed, Gonzales did witness something he described as "heartwarming." As White's body was being taken from the hospital to the medical examiner's office, law enforcement officers and hospital staff lined up in rows out to the parking lot to honor him.

And law enforcement continues to honor him, along with other officers who have died in the line of duty. "People die twice," said Gonzales. "The first time is when their body leaves them when their heart stops… and the final and last time a person dies is when you stop saying their name."

Gonzales said that this is why law enforcement holds memorial services to honor the fallen every year.

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A Love Letter To Notre Dame

You're still the most beautiful cathedral in the world.

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While a lot of the world maybe hasn't experienced your majesty in person, I have. And I remember it. And when the news headlines flashed up on Twitter and Facebook that you were going down in flames, my heart sank. I sat down and watched the beautiful cathedral that I stood in front of years ago become engulfed in smoke and flames.

I'd been there. I'd experienced it. It can't just go up in flames.

I remember running around in the square in front of Notre Dame when I was about 10 or 11, laughing and screaming when the pigeons came too close for comfort. I remember walking into the cathedral with my family and looking up in awe and stopping, dead in my tracks.

I'd never seen stained glass windows like that before.

I'd never felt God and art and beauty so heavily in one place.

I was quiet, there were no words. I remember almost tiptoeing through the cathedral as if it were too ornate for me to even be inside. I remember lighting a candle in front of a statue and just feeling my faith so so present. I remember spending what felt like an eternity with my eyes raised up to the heavens just taking it all in.

I felt so small. I remember leaving the church and sitting on a park bench right outside the back while my parents and grandparents talked about the history of it all.

It felt like we had just spent an entire day out of this world and in a beautiful, holy place.

Of all the places we went to in Paris, I remember you the most. I don't know if we spent more time there or if you were just so overwhelmingly intricate and beautiful, but it was like the hands of God had created you. So please restore yourself. Come back to us and continue sharing sheer beauty with a world that so needs it. Notre Dame, we love you.

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