A 10-year-old Florida boy who lives hundreds of miles from East Tennessee honored a slain Sullivan County sheriff’s deputy in a special way.
Wednesday evening, Zechariah Cartledge ran a mile in honor of Sgt. Steve Hinkle who died this week after he was struck by a bullet last weekend.
He wasn’t alone, either. He was joined by a local police officer sporting full police gear. Another officer followed in a police cruiser with blue lights flashing.
During the run, neighbors cheered them on.
Chad Cartledge, Zechariah’s dad, says his son’s run for Sgt. Hinkle marked his 50th one-mile run since he started running for fallen officers on January 12.
Chad says his son is running in honor of every officer lost in 2018 and 2019.
He starts off with a prayer before each run.
“I also pray that officers are staying safe and hopefully no more pass away in the line of duty,” Zechariah said.
Zechariah’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis recently awarded him the state’s first-ever “Back the Blue Award.”
Zechariah’s father also reminds News Channel 11, that Sargeant Hinkle’s community is not alone.
“Just know our hearts go out to your community,” Chad Cartledge said. “We’ve read a lot of articles about Sargeant Hinkle and just know that you’ve got a whole community down here in Florida that is also supporting you guys during this time.”