US Marshal's Office marks anniversary of Josie Wells' death

U.S. Marshal's Office marks anniversary of Josie Wells' death

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's been one year since Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells was killed in the line of duty.

Born into a family of law enforcement and named after an outlaw, the Mississippi native died protecting citizens in Baton Rouge. His first mission in the city was his last day on earth.

It was a stunning loss felt throughout the community.

"You always want to think you'll send them back safe and send him back to his family and everything.  It hurts a lot more I think because you feel like you didn't take care of him," said Kevin Harrison, the US Marshal for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Since March 2015, the U.S. Marshal's Office has continued its mission to serve and protect. However, the weight of that day still lingers.

"Why not me? I guess the only answer you can come up with is 'There, but for the grace of God, go I,'" said Harrison.

Josie left behind a wife who was pregnant at the time with their son, who was born August 27 and named after his father. The community rallied around Josie's family in the days after his death, raising thousands of dollars to support his wife and son.

Harrison said the outpouring of support did a lot to ease the pain of the loss and remind his deputies why they do what they do.

"It reassures them that are more good people in this world than there are bad. It gives them sense of not only service but community," said Harrison.

A year later some of the grief has passed, but Josie's memory shines as brightly as ever as his colleagues in Baton Rouge remember his mega-watt smile, contagious charm and dedication to service.

"Sometimes in the briefest of meetings with certain people, you get a feeling about them that suggests they're born for greatness, or better things. That's the feeling I had about that kid," said Harrison. "Maybe that's the same feeling the Good Lord had about him."

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