A May traffic stop by Mooresville Police Officer Jordan Sheldon turned deadly — and residents came together to mourn.
Sheldon, 32, was a K-9 handler for the MPD and was a six-year veteran of the department. On May 4, he stopped a vehicle on Plaza Drive for suspicion of driving with a suspended license. As he walked up to the vehicle after checking the driver’s paperwork through a national database, he spoke to the driver, who produced additional documentation.
While Sheldon was examining the documents, the driver fired a handgun at Sheldon and then fled the scene. Sheldon died at Carolina Medical Center.
The suspect was later found dead in an apartment, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
No motive was established but an investigation report indicated the driver’s girlfriend said he’d threatened to kill a police officer and then himself.
Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins said the entire community was in shock. At a press conference May 5, he posed the question, “Mooresville, of all places, how can this happen?”
Then-Police Chief Damon Williams summed up the feelings of an entire community.
“We’re sad. We’re hurt,” he said.
Local residents, as well as many from out of town paid their respects at a makeshift memorial with an MPD SUV that was parked near the department for days. People left flowers, handwritten condolences and stuffed animals.
His funeral procession saw hundreds of people lining the streets to show their respects as it traveled from Charlotte to Concord and then from Concord to Mooresville.
His canine partner, Ramon, was also on the minds of many in the community. Ramon was in the patrol car and retrieved by another officer. He is still working with the department.
After Sheldon’s death, organizations sprung up to provide funding for the department’s K-9 unit and to establish a scholarship in his honor for Basic Law Enforcement Training cadets at Mitchell Community College.
Sheldon’s K9’s was one of those organizations. The mission of Sheldon’s K9’s is to improve the lives of the MPD’s canines and their handlers. Taking a cue from Sheldon, who sought to bring law enforcement and the community together and to showcase the K-9 unit in a positive manner, the organization is working to further awareness, care and advocacy for the dogs.
In the months after Sheldon’s death, the organization named in his honor received donations from a fundraiser held by Clutch Coffee Bar and a $10,000 check from Academy Sports+Outdoors.
Many others donated, in large and small amounts, to the organization.
Sheldon’s K-9s added another element to its mission, a retirement program, to help handlers with the expenses related to care for a retirement canine.
MCC established the Memorial Scholarship a month after Sheldon’s death. Since that time, funds raised at festivals and from individual donations have been given to help BLET students with expenses.
Several festivals and other fundraisers organized by Mooresville’s Kayla Vega brought in nearly $10,000.
The fund has reached close to the halfway goal of $50,000 in order to endow the scholarship.
MCC President Dr. Tim Brewer said, in June, that this scholarship will honor Sheldon’s life and impact public safety servants in the future.
A Mooresville-based softball team showed its support for Sheldon by dedicating wins to his memory and wearing a T-shirt in his honor and Mooresville High School’s baseball team also remembered Sheldon in their historic run to a state 4A championship.