WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. (WKRG) — Two Alabama officers were killed in the line of duty within a week, but a Florida boy is hoping to make a difference and stop the violence, one mile at a time.
10-year-old Zechariah runs a mile to honor the lives and pay his respects to fallen officers in both 2018 and 2019. On Sunday, Jan. 20, Zechariah had just finished his run to honor Sgt. Wytasha Carter, a Birmingham officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty, when he heard about the death of Mobile police officer Sean Tuder.
The news upset and angered Zechariah, so instead of waiting to run, he did a second mile for Officer Tuder. But before he ran he made a few comments.
“The reason why I wanted to do it tonight is because I am furious about this,” said Zechariah, holding his police flag before his second mile of the day. “The war against police somehow is not going to peace; like, it just keeps going on. This needs to stop. Why can’t they just go to peace? Cause this violence needs to stop because they go home to husbands, wives, children every day, and if they can’t see them anymore, then that’s just going to break their hearts.”
“Our son is an avid runner and is running a mile this year for every fallen officer in both 2018 and 2019,” Zechariah’s father Chad Cartledge told News 5 over messenger. “Sadly, he has many miles to run, but he wanted to do this as his way of paying his respects.”
Zechariah has a Facebook page, Running for Heroes, where he does a live video for all his runs and recognizes who the run is honoring.
He has done eight runs already this year and is running Monday night for fallen Deputy Sheriff Ray Horn who died on Jan. 17 of a heart attack. Deputy Horn was with Comal County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.
“Our hearts go out to you all in Mobile,” Chad Cartledge said. “This kind of stuff needs to stop.”
If you would like to support Zechariah, visit the page Running for Heroes by clicking here.