10 Years Later: Stephen McMickens Revisits The Night He Tried To Save Officers Clark & Shelton
CHARLOTTE, NC — Stephen McMickens is another young person who’s life forever changed after Officer Jeff Shelton and Officer Sean Clark died.
McMickens was the very first person who jumped in to try and save them that night in 2007. He was just 18-years-old back then.
Now, he’s ensuring the officers’ legacy lasts. The memorial inside Timber Ridge Apartment complex where the officers were shot is a place McMickens usually avoids.
“I see them on that ground again,” said McMickens. “”I see me sitting over there trying to fight to keep them alive.”
However, he wanted to bring WCCB Charlotte’s Courtney Francisco there to help people understand the legacy.
“This could be your loved one’s memorial you see right here,” said McMickens. “Would you want their life to go in vain? I don’t think so. So, why not come together now and prevent it?”
10 years ago, McMickens and his mother Stella say the officers were familiar, welcomed faces at the apartment complex where the gunman shot them.
“They would bring the little badges around,” said Stella McMickens. “Talk to the children, talk to the community, talk to the parents. Everyone would talk to each other. Even the ones that were on the wrong side of the law.”
The night the shooting happened, McMickens says everyone felt the pain.
“They were screaming like their loved one was on the ground,” said McMickens.
Just a teenager, he says he put pressure on the wounds, and says he held Officer Shelton’s hand.
“He knew who I was. I think that’s why he smiled at me the way he did because he grabbed my hand, and he looked at me real intense,” said McMickens.
Days earlier, he says he and Officer Shelton had a talk.
“He had just told me two days before, ‘You going to make a difference.’,” said McMickens.
Now, McMickens works at a funeral home reaching out to families caught in the violence.
“That’s when you see a man let down the facade, you see the gang members crying, the family members crying. That’s when you can reach them,” said McMickens.
From his view point, Jeff and Sean’s legacy is work together to stop violence and improve police relations.
“You can’t do it without the other. I’m here for you. You here for me. That’s what they believed in,” said McMickens.