BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Over the past few years the violent crime rate has remained steady in Blytheville, according to FBI data.
However, community leaders are not satisfied with a flat rate, they want crime to decrease. God’s Holy Temple Church Pastor Bishop Randy Crenshaw is hoping a Region 8 police officer’s story will help in the effort.
March 16, 1997, Osceola Police Sergeant Myron Kelly was killed after saving his younger brother Eugene, who was also an officer.
"Not only was I shot, my brother was killed. It's just like losing a part of yourself," Eugene Kelly said. "Five rounds, he took that would've been for me. So he saved my life. You're talking about a true hero. They don't come any better than that."
Because Eugene chose the difficult path of taking his life back, Bishop Crenshaw chose him to be the featured speaker for the ‘Stop the Violence’ Memorial Service at Williams Park in Blytheville on July 26 at 10 a.m.
"We talk about violence. What can we do to combat it? What other angles can we work at to try to help bring the numbers down," Bishop Crenshaw said.
The event began in 2009. Bishop Crenshaw said he has seen a positive change in Blytheville in the past several years and hopes to keep the momentum going by inviting people to hear Eugene's story.
"Right before that happened our mother had passed, 10 months before (the shooting). Can you imagine? I could've went crazy. I could've become a violent person. I could've been a lot of different things because of the hurt that you feel," Eugene said.
Eugene plans to give a simple message to people, keep living.
"Don't give up. Do not give up. In a situation like that life goes on. It doesn't matter what the occasion might be. But you still have to go forward. You have to still do positive things."