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With candles illuminating their faces, hundreds of people gathered Nov. 14 outside the David R. Hourigan Government Center to remember a fallen officer and community servant. Family, friends and fellow law enforcement personnel were there to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Rakes.
Rakes was on his way home at the end of his shift on the day he died. He saw a vehicle was stopped on Danville Highway, just outside the Lebanon city limits. He stopped, called in the license plate and got out to check on the driver. That’s when he was shot. He later died at Spring View Hospital.
Rakes was 31.
The man accused of shooting Rakes, Dewayne Shipp, 50, of McDaniels, remains in custody at the Kentucky State Penitentiary. His trial is tentatively scheduled for April 2014.
“There are evil people in this world who do evil things, and we can’t help that,” the Rev. David Whitlock said in his opening remarks. “But that doesn’t necessarily heal our hearts.”
Whitlock added that it’s OK to ask God why things like this happen, and it’s OK to be angry.
“Evil did not overpower an overpowering God,” he said, adding, “Jesus is loyal to the suffering.”
Whitlock continued to say that Rakes had a dream of becoming sheriff, and it was good dream.
“His dream was to help other people … by insuring that we are safe and secure,” Whitlock said.
Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly said it’s unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to help us appreciate the sacrifices our emergency service workers make to serve the public.
“This community lost a vital part,” he said.
Angela Nance, who opened the vigil by singing the national anthem, then sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” before Rakes’ sisters took the podium.
While fighting through tears, Anita Elder spoke. Her sister, Regina Ewing, stood by her side.
“I just want to thank you for your support. I love you all,” Elder said. “Anthony loved you all.”
After playing a recording of the song “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements invited anyone who wanted to speak. Barbara Deering took the opportunity to say she will remember Rakes as a good person.
“Whenever he was around, I’d always pat his stomach and say, “Watch them doughnuts,’” she said through her own tears.
Whitlock offered a closing prayer.
“We are thankful tonight for a community that cares,” he said.
Nance concluded the gathering with “Amazing Grace.”
Korey Hundley, Rakes’ stepson, was among the crowd Thursday. He said it was amazing how many people were there.
“We’ll always remember him,” Hundley said. “We’ll always love him.”