Police Officer Killed by Massachusetts Fugitive Remembered

February 11, 2006 - Posted at 12:56 p.m. CST

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) _ In a sea of blue and gray, police

officers packed a church hall at Mountain Home yesterday to honor a

veteran patrolman slain by a teenager who had fled halfway across

the country. Gassville officer Jim Sell was remembered as a warrior

for good who died while trying to stop evil.

Sell died last Saturday after he was shot by 18-year-old Jacob

Robida, who was wanted in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for an attack

with a hatchet and gun on patrons of a gay bar.

At Mountain Home yesterday, Gassville Police Chief Tim Mayfield

told a crowd of about 900 mourners that police officers all know

that there's a chance the same thing could happen to them. He said

Sell's death made that possibility real for Mayfield and his


A friend of Sell's family, Pam Sullins, praised the officer for

his generosity and kindness. She said Sell gave his life as a hero

fighting to stop the evil that swarmed into the small north

Arkansas community that day.

The Reverend Sam Seamans echoed the theme of good and evil,

saying many may wonder why an officer's life was lost in a

senseless act of violence. He said the truth is that, since the

beginning of time, there have been good men and good women who have

stood in the path of those who would do evil in our world. He said

Sell was one such person.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)