NEWAYGO, Mich. — It's been 11 years since Michigan State Police Trooper Kevin Marshall was shot and killed while on duty in Newaygo County.
Saturday runners there laced up at Riverfront Park in his honor for the 11th annual Marshall Run where they also were able to pay it forward for a good cause. All proceeds raised from the run go toward the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
For Kevin Sweeney, who has been organizing the run ever since Marshall's death, it was the least he could do for someone who not only was his colleague but a good friend.
"I took it pretty hard, probably because I saw a little bit of me in him and it gets to that point where you never thought it would happen to you and it happened to someone we knew very closely," Sweeney said.
A hardworking, humble family man is how Sweeney describes Marshall who at just 33 years old was shot to death in July 2003. Marshall was on a call that night responding to a barricaded gunman hostage situation at a home in Fremont. When officers entered the home the suspect began shooting, one of the rounds ripped through Marshall's bullet proof vest. He was the 49th trooper in MSP history to die in the line of duty with two others dying in the the time since, the most recent being Trooper Paul Butterfield in September 2013.
"Kevin was just a great person, and I think he touched a lot of people's lives and that's why the community rallied around him so much," Sweeney said.
The support for Marshall evident from the bronze statue that now stands in Marshall Memorial Park in Newaygo.
"From the community in Newaygo and Rockford where we live, and the state police, they've been great support to us and my kids throughout the whole 11 years," said Angie Marshall-Walston, Marshall's widow.
"Some days it feels like yesterday, other days it feels like 100 years ago, but we really just remember him everyday and try to live our life as best we can."