Friends, family mourn loss of Brownfield police officer
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - When Debbie Shedd noticed her son, 27-year-old Jeremy Shedd, had not returned to Lubbock from his Brownfield Police Department shift Sunday morning, her motherly instincts kicked in.
She called Shedd's phone, and a police officer answered to confirm her worst fears.
Around 6:30 a.m., Shedd was driving back to Lubbock in his truck about three miles south of Meadow on Highway 62/82.
Police said 26-year-old Sergio Vazquez from Denver City was traveling south in his truck, when he crossed the median into Shedd's lane. They had a head-on collision, and both later died.
Police say Volkswagen approaching the accident was able to stop in time. The driver, Ronald Stewart, was not injured.
"He will be greatly missed," said Shedd's cousin, Shawnee Gilbreath, "But he's always in our hearts."
Those who knew Shedd best called him by another, unlikely name.
"His nickname was Tiny because he was 6'5 and a big kid, always smiled and everybody loved him," said his brother, Steve Shedd. "He touched a lot of people, and it's evident today."
Shedd began his career as a Brownfield police officer around February 2013.
"We're separated by about 11 years, and I went into the army and he always wanted to do that," Steve said, "and then he found that police was going to be his calling, and he went after it like nobody's business."
In the short time wearing his badge, Shedd's family said he made an unforgettable impression.
"They were like his second family," Debbie said, speaking about the Brownfield Police Department.
However, Shedd did not just perform good deeds in his uniform.
"He was going to be our son-in-law," said Dana Richardson, "and her father and I loved him dearly."
Jeremy dated Dana's daughter Nicole, his fiance, for eight years. He supported them both during a difficult time in their lives.
"He came to her daddy and asked him for her hand when she was still in high school. He told him that he would be honored to have him as a son-in-law," Richardson said. "He passed away last year from cancer. Jeremy carried both of us through that. We couldn't have got through it without him."
Jeremy was in the process of moving out of his parents' home to live in Brownfield with Nicole in a couple of weeks.
"His dad and I were really happy," Debbie said, "because we wouldn't have to worry about that long drive in the winter months."
The accident Sunday morning changed everything.
"I keep telling myself that there is no way that he's done doing what he was here for," Nicole said.
Nicole said she loved Shedd because he was noble.
"He believed that just because he had that badge it didn't mean that he was above anybody," she said. "He still demanded respect, but he also respected them."
Shedd's family said he touched countless lives, and said it will not stop here.
"He just had a big heart and a goofy smile," Debbie said. "He loved everybody and he could make everybody laugh."
Funeral arrangements and memorial funds for Shedd are not set yet, but Steve said they will announce the plans in the next few days.
KCBD also reached out to those who knew Vazquez, and Rifle Collinsworth responded with this message:
"Sergio was a great friend of mine throughout school. We graduated from Denver City in 2006 and played football together there. Serg was a shy, gentle giant, however he was always willing to stand up for his friends when they needed him. He was a hard worker who always had a big smile on his face. I don't think there was ever a person who would have anything bad to say about Serg. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family members. God gained a good one today!"
A memorial fund has been set up for Shedd. You can make donations at any City Bank to the Officer Jeremy Shedd Memorial Fund.
Police say they have not ruled out alcohol as a factor in the wreck. Troopers who worked the scene say they believe Vasquez may have been under the influence of alcohol.
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