FAIRWAY, Kan. — Two days after Officer Jonah Oswald died after he was shot while trying to arrest two suspects at a Mission QuikTrip, his community is honoring him with blue ribbons.
You can find those ribbons wrapped around many of the trees in Fairway, a city made up of just over 4,000 people. You can also see them inside of some businesses.
“We’re all in this together,” Rainy Day Books Chief Operating Officer Roger Doeren said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday.
Doeren even has ribbons inside of his business.
“Jerry Wiley, our former mayor, 26-year veteran of the FBI, it was (him) that came by with the ribbon on rolls and pulled it off and cut it off for people,” he said.
The ribbons are on shelves and near windows inside of Doeren’s bookstore. The police department’s just across the alley from Rainy Day Books. Doeren knew Oswald well.
“I cried,” Doeren said Wednesday when asked what his reaction was when he heard the news Officer Oswald had been killed. “He’s a husband and a father of two young children.”
The group Answering the Call helps families of first responders in times of need. President and founder Ronnie Doumitt said they’re taking donations right now.
“This is a family that lost their single income.” Doumitt said during a news conference Wednesday.
“What we can do as a collective group and that’s a community is support them. These men and women go out every single day, and they support us. They fight for us. They provide safety and security for us while we’re sleeping at night. The least we can do as a community is support them in their time of need.”
According to the Lenexa Police Department, through at least the end of the week, Fairway officers will not be responding to calls. Neighboring departments will be answering their calls for service, including the Johnson County Sherriff’s Department.
This is just another example of people from across the metro, stepping up and helping this small city and community through the devastating time.
On Tuesday FOX4 spoke with Robert Paul, a friend of Oswald, who also happened to work with him on the safety team at Life Church in Overland Park.
Paul said the officer loved his children and was an outstanding husband. Being a police officer was more than just a job for Officer Oswald, it was a passion.
“It’s very devastating – I don’t think it’s sunk in for the community yet and for me and for other folks that knew him personally it’s still so fresh it’s just hard to explain,” Paul said.
In the coming days, officials will announce funeral plans for Officer Oswald. When funeral arrangements are announced, details will be available on the FOX4 website.
Oswald is now resting at Amos Funeral Home in Shawnee. Until his funeral, officers from across the area are rotating standing watch over his body 24 hours a day.
The Surviving Spouse And Family Endowment Fund (SAFE) will be making a $25,000 donation to the Oswald’s wife and two young children.
If you wish to donate to the Oswald family, you can donate here.
Kansas City-area Price Chopper locations are also taking donations from Aug. 9 through Aug. 22, and all proceeds collected will go toward the family.