HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — On Friday, for the first time, Hutto Police Chief Earl Morrison spoke publicly about the death of Hutto Police Sgt. Chris Kelley.
“There were many that saw Sgt. Kelley dash out the door on his final call and we’re still trying to figure out why he never came back,” said Chief Morrison.
It’s an emotional time for this small police department. Morrison says officers are leaning on each other and God during this tragedy. “Isaiah 41:10 says ‘fear not for I am with you,'” said Morrison.
Morrison recalls Sgt. Kelley interviewing him for the Hutto chief position nearly a year ago. He said, “It has truly come full circle because I’m here because of him.”
Sarah Castillo and her daughters place wildflowers at the growing memorial for Sgt. Kelley outside the police station. They believe they stayed safe because of his service.
“Thank you so much for the ultimate sacrifice, for helping our community,” said Castillo.
Hutto police will honor Sgt. Kelley by moving forward, continuing to serve and protect and always remembering.
“Sgt. Kelley lives on in our hearts and in these halls and he will never be forgotten,” said Chief Morrison.
As he spoke about Kelley, Chief Morrison had to pause to hold back tears. Morrison said Kelley was willing to run toward danger, not away from it, including his last day of service.
The Hutto Police Department will continue to grieve through Sgt. Kelley’s funeral on Tuesday, they plan to take back daily operations on Wednesday.
The chief also read a statement from Kelley’s family, thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers. They say Kelley was their ‘rock’ and ‘protector’ and he was taken far too soon.
Funeral services for Kelley will be held Tuesday, June 30 at 11 a.m. at the Shoreline Christian Church in North Austin.