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Nov. 14 marked a year since Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Rakes was shot and killed during a traffic stop right outside city limits on Danville Highway.
But, for Rakes’ two sisters, time has not healed their broken hearts.
“It doesn’t feel any differently than it did a year ago,” Anita Elder said, starting to cry. “My heart still aches. It hurts so bad.”
Rakes, 31, was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, when he initiated a traffic stop on Danville Highway. His shift was over and he was on his way home when he spotted a 2007 KIA sitting idle in the road. Rakes reported the vehicle to Lebanon Police Dispatch, turned around and parked behind the vehicle. Rakes gave the license plate number to dispatch, got out of his vehicle and the next thing he said was, “Shots fired.”
Elder said listening to her brother’s call to Lebanon Dispatch, which several television stations aired after the shooting, was extremely difficult.
“You could hear the fear in his voice,” Elder said, sobbing.
The alleged shooter, Dewayne Shipp, 50, of McDaniels fled the scene but was arrested a few hours after the shooting behind McDonald’s in Campbellsville by Kentucky State Police and officers from the Campbellsville Police Department. Shipp was initially transported to Taylor County Hospital and later taken to University Hospital in Louisville, where he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg.
Rakes was transported to Spring View Hospital. He had been shot in the abdomen and upper torso area.
Before he went into surgery, his sisters, Elder and Regina Ewing, were able to see him. Elder said she held his hand for a few moments before he was sent to the operating room. The nurse encouraged her to talk to him, but she said she was in so much shock she couldn’t say a word.
“I will regret that the rest of my life,” Elder said, wiping tears from her face.
Rakes’ sisters were hopeful he would make it through surgery.
“But, when that doctor came out, I knew something was wrong,” Ewing said. “I felt like somebody just pulled my heart out.”
Losing their brother felt almost like losing a son. Their mother died when Rakes was only 11 years old, and the two sisters practically raised him. Growing up, they said Rakes always wanted to work in law enforcement. His dream was to be sheriff one day.
“He never got to live that dream,” Elder said. “It’s not fair.”
Both sisters said they think about their brother every day and desperately wish he was still here.
“His voice… I miss that the most,” Ewing said.
Ewing said she talked to her brother every day, and he would often come visit to play with her two young children.
“He loved my kids,” Ewing said.
Elder said she misses everything about her brother.
“He’s the brother I always wanted,” Elder said. “What I would give for one more hug.”
Both sisters attended a pre-trial conference for the alleged shooter, Shipp, Thursday in Marion Circuit Court, which was reset for 8:30 a.m., Nov. 21. The trial is tentatively scheduled for April of 2014.
While they admit it’s difficult being face to face with Shipp, Elder said she eventually wants to talk to him.
“I want to know why,” she said. “Why didn’t you give my brother a chance to help you? He would have helped you. Anthony stopped because he cared.”
Rakes’ law enforcement family
Rakes was a six-year veteran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and was the department’s firearms instructor. Before becoming a deputy, Rakes had worked two years at the Lebanon Police Department.
Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Clements said Rakes was not only very professional and law savvy, but he was also well liked by the community.
“He would have made a good sheriff at some point,” Clements said. “I really believe that.”
When asked what he remembers about the night Rakes was killed, Clements’ eyes immediately well up with tears.
Clements said he had just arrived home from work and was still wearing his uniform when he heard Rakes make the traffic stop. When Clements heard Rakes call dispatch and say he had been shot, Clements immediately drove to the scene and escorted the ambulance to the hospital.
Clements said he vividly remembers Marion County EMS personnel bringing Rakes out of the ambulance and he saw Rakes’ arm hanging limp and lifeless off the stretcher.
“I knew it was over,” Clements said, wiping tears from his eyes.
Clements also remembers going to the scene of the shooting and looking inside Rakes’ police cruiser.
“I’ll never forget looking in the front seat of his cruiser that night,” Clements said. “There was a loaf of bread, some donuts and a copy of The Lebanon Enterprise laying in his front seat. He was going home for the night.”
The days following the shooting were a blur for Clements and the entire sheriff’s office.
“You never think it will happen here,” he said.
Clements’ biggest fear, initially, was having a back-to-back shooting.
“And, I worried about the officers that responded to the scene that night and what they saw,” he said. “I worried about the deputies and how they were handling things. I wanted to do my share to make sure they were taken care of… that they got their opportunity to grieve.”
Clements has encouraged his officers to attend training to help them cope with the loss of Rakes. He himself attended Valor training, which is designed to help prevent violence against law enforcement officers and provides participants with an understanding of emerging threats, along with techniques for anticipating and surviving a violent encounter.
Rakes’ murder has brought a new awareness to the sheriff’s office, as well as the community, that our small town is not immune to big city violence, according to Clements.
He said the community has been very supportive of the sheriff’s office, and their efforts to remember Rakes.
Since his death, Rakes’ name has been added to law enforcement memorials in Richmond, Ky, and in Washington D.C. In May, the section of US 68 from the Lebanon city limits to the Marion-Boyle county line was renamed as the Marion County Deputy Sheriff Carl Anthony Rakes Memorial Highway.
Tomorrow, Nov. 14, there will be a candlelight service at 6 p.m., on the front steps of the David R. Hourigan Government Center in Lebanon.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is also in the process of raising money to build a memorial to recognize Rakes and any future emergency services personnel who die in the line of duty. The total cost of the monument is approximately $31,000, Clements said, and plans are to put it near the sheriff’s office at the David R. Hourigan Government building. He hopes to have it up by next spring during Law Enforcement Memorial Week.
“We’re going to make it happen,” Clements said. “It’s the least we could do for somebody who paid the ultimate price.”
Candlelight memorial service for Deputy Rakes
At 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, there will be a candlelight memorial service on the front steps of the David R. Hourigan Government Center in Lebanon to honor and remember the passing of Marion County Deputy Sheriff Anthony Rakes.
Deputy Anthony Rakes Memorial
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is having a raffle on Dec. 12, to help raise funds for the Deputy Anthony Rakes Memorial. The purchase of a ticket is good for a chance at two separate Valhalla Golf gift packages, a Smith and Wesson 380 caliber handgun, a Henry Golden Boy 22 caliber rifle (Law Enforcement Tribute Edition) and a Stilh Weedeater. Also, if interested, you may choose to purchase a brick paver engraved in memory of a loved one or family member for $100. All of the proceeds go towards the construction of the Emergency Services Memorial, which will be dedicated to honor those lost in the line of duty serving Marion County. Stop by or contact the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 270-692-3051 for details or to purchase a ticket. Drawing for the raffle will be on Dec. 12.
Dewayne Shipp, 50, of 83 Webster Way in McDaniels is currently being held without bond at the Kentucky State Penitentiary for the murder of Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Rakes.
Court records show that Shipp had a .22 revolver and spent casings in his jacket pocket when he was arrested. The records also read that Shipp made statements at the time of his arrest indicating that he fired at an officer but didn't mean to hurt him.
Shipp was indicted Nov. 19, 2012, for murder and separately for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. No bond was set in his case. On Dec. 7, 2012, then-Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Cocanougher filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Shipp for the murder of Deputy Rakes.
A pretrial conference was scheduled for Shipp on Nov. 7, but that was reset for 8:30 a.m., Nov. 21. The trial is tentatively scheduled for April 28, 2014.