SMITHVILLE, Mo. — People in Smithville are remembering Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans as a kind young man destined to serve his community.
“He had a really good servant heart and he was generally, kind, and I just want him remembered as the decent human that he was," said Stacey Sapp.
Sapp works as the bookkeeper at Smithville High School where Madrid-Evans graduated.
“So kind. That’s what really stood out to me is just his kindness," school counselor Jennifer Robinson said.
Robinson has a son the same age.
“He was the same age as my son that graduated in the same graduating class here, so it kind of hit my mom heart when I heard about it too and just sort of stopped my breath for a minute," Robinson said. "I couldn’t believe that somebody so young that could happen to."
Madrid-Evans died Wednesday after he was shot by a suspect.
The 22 year-old who was set to get married worked as an Independence police officer since graduating from the Kansas City Regional Police Academy on July 8.
“You know it could happen, you don’t want it to happen," former KCPD officer Dan Ulledahl said.
Ulledahl spent 16 years as a Kansas City police officer. After retirement, he opened Chop's BBQ in Smithville and hired Madrid-Evans shortly after he finished high school.
“He was eager to learn. When we first employed him, he learned everything and he was willing to learn even the hard stuff," Ulledahl said.
Ulledahl said Madrid-Evans displayed the qualities necessary to be a good police officer.
As he and others mourn, Ulledahl asked people to never forget the fallen officer or his colleagues.
“Let them know that you care. Let them know that you’re there. Give them a wave when you see them out.”
Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey said Madrid-Evans' memory lives in others as he was an organ donor.