EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHEROES HONORED
from Eyewitness News Online
W.Va. Sheriffs' Association Honors Those In Line Of Fire In Clay County Shooting
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Feb. 24, 2013 5:38 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 26, 2013 9:28 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
On Monday, the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association honored the two Clay County troopers who were killed in the line of duty, along with others who were involved in the tragedy last August.
The ceremony was held the same day a new bill was introduced to legislators, known as the "Bulletproof Vest Bill."
"Our daddy was a great man," said Lauryn Bailey. Words from a child summing up the kind of person her father was. When Cpl. Marshall Bailey was shot and killed in the line of duty, he left behind a family forever changed in an instant.
"Because he used to be really good and be good to us. Help people," she said.
Cpl. Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman were honored for giving the ultimate sacrifice. Their families are working to keep their memory alive.
"With the people just supporting. It makes it nice," says Whitney Bailey, daughter of Cpl. Bailey.
Roane County deputy John Westfall was also shot that night. He was saved by his bulletproof vest that was provided through his work as a Spencer police officer. He was awarded a purple heart and Combat Cross, along with deputies from the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
"You don't understand what a great place we live in West Virginia. Whenever something like this happens, people support you everywhere," said Westfall.
Westfall is hopeful legislation requiring vests will be a priority for lawmakers this session.
"Whenever I went through the academy, there were several guys who didn't have vests. I just happened to be lucky to work for a department that provided vests for us," he said.
"I'm no hero. I'm a survivor. Like I say, I did what anyone else would do to try and get help to the situation," says Frank Massey. Massey was also shot in the incident as he was responding to the scene to tow the suspect's car.
"I'm no hero. I'm a survivor. Like I say, I did what anyone else would do to try and get help to the situation," he said.
The Bullet-proof Vest Bill was also introduced at the capitol on Monday. If passed, it would be mandatory for counties to provide body armor to their sheriff's deputies. Right now, there is no law on the books that requires the purchase.
Counties that can't afford the vests would be given money from the In-Vest fund, that was started at Eyewitness News last year. We were able to raise more than $16,000 for the sheriffs' association.
The West Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association, on Monday, donated enough money to buy 50 vests for the sheriff's association.
"This is so important that we make certain we have vests because it seems like as we watch the news, and listen to the news...violent crime is up in West Virginia and we've got to protect our officers," explains Del. Bob Ashley, a lead sponsor of the bill.
"This is incredible. It's such a fantastic initiative. Like I said, people outside the state, huge associations are wanting to donate to this. We can't thank WCHS enough. We can't thank all the donors enough, it's such a fantastic initiative and it's exactly what we needed," said Rudi Raynes-Kidder, executive director of the sheriffs' association.
Deputies and others who were in the line of fire in a deadly police shooting in Clay County last year were honored at the West Virginia Capitol Monday.
Clay County deputies were on hand, along with Roane County Deputy John Westfall.
Westfall was shot, but survived, thanks to his bulletproof vest. Frank Massey, a tow truck driver who saw the two fallen troopers and was shot as he escaped to call for help, also was honored.
Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman also were honored for their service.
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