Fallen Officer's Entire Department Showed Up To Escort His Son To School On His First Day Of Kindergarten

His dad couldn't be there, so they stepped up.

Denham Springs Police Department shawn kelly son escort Denham Springs Police Department

The Denham Springs Police Department in Louisiana had an extra special assignment on August 17, 2023.

The team was not responding to a typical emergency or chasing after criminals. Instead, they were getting ready to give a warm send-off on the first day of kindergarten to Liam, the son of their late colleague, Cpl. Shawn Kelly. His smiling face says all you need to know!

A late father's entire police department showed up to escort his son to school on his first day of kindergarten.

Five-year-old Liam is the son of Cpl. Shawn Kelly, a dedicated officer who was tragically shot in the line of duty on May 11 and later succumbed to his injuries on June 2. Just a few weeks ago signified a poignant milestone for Liam — it was his first day stepping into kindergarten. And his father's fellow officers didn't want him missing it.




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The DSPD took to Facebook to share photos capturing this special day. The images show Liam standing tall with his backpack strapped on, encircled by police officers cheering him on enthusiastically as he walked up to his school. "We wanted him to know just how much his blue family supported him," they wrote.


In what could have been an otherwise ordinary school day for most kindergarteners became an extraordinary spectacle for young Liam as he experienced an impressive procession typically reserved for dignitaries — a massive police escort filled with cars and motorcycles — guiding him safely to school.

In one heartwarming photo shared by DSPD on social media platforms, Liam can be seen sitting atop one of the motorcycles.

But when he arrived at school, the officers weren't finished escorting him. He was greeted with yet another surprise: scores of officers lined up front, awaiting his arrival. He dished out radiant smiles and high-fives to the officers as he walked up to the building.

They expressed how proud Liam's father would be if he was alive to witness his first day of kindergarten. 

"Cpl. Shawn Kelly... would be so proud," DSPD wrote. "His son started kindergarten today... we were honored to help make sure that Liam's first day was unforgettable."


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Shawn Kelly began serving Louisiana as part of its law enforcement team back in 1994 when he enlisted with the Department of Corrections before joining DSPD in 2019 as a taser instructor and field training officer.

However, on May 11, he responded to what would usually be a routine call. It was a man involved in several road rage incidents who was engaged in a heated argument with an unknown woman at a shopping center parking lot nearby. The man ended up fatally shooting Kelly.


Reflecting upon losing Kelly, Chief Rodney Walker mournfully remarked that their community lost "a great public servant." He added that he was "a great father, grandfather, husband and just a human being."

The police department also extended gratitude to the "surrounding agencies" that came out to support. And, of course, added some well wishes to Liam.

"Liam, from all of us, we hope your day is extra special and that you have a wonderful first day!" they said.

Even though Cpl. Shawn Kelly's absence was certainly felt on this big day, his fellow officers made sure that Liam's first day of kindergarten was unforgettable. They showed that despite losing a fellow officer in service, his memory and legacy are very much alive.


And for Liam, his dad's brothers in blue stepped up to be his security, his encouragement and, most importantly, his family.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.