(WJHL) — A boy who has garnered national attention for honoring fallen first responders ran a mile on Monday night in honor of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday night.
Zechariah Cartledge, 13, Florida, founded Running 4 Heroes Inc. when he was just 10 years old. The avid runner pays tribute to first responders year round, and he has clocked in hundreds upon hundreds of miles since launching the nonprofit in 2019.
Funds donated to the Running 4 Heroes mission go directly toward the following, according to the website:
- Fallen Hero Flag Mission — The flag Cartledge holds as he runs each mile for a fallen hero is given to the family and/or agency of the fallen first responder with a handwritten note
- Injured First Responder Grant Program — The mission donates a minimum of $10,000 each month to a first responder injured in the line of duty
- K9 Vests and Safety Supplies — Each month, the mission provides a different K9 Officer with a ballastic vest and/or safety equipment
- Travel Mission — Allows the mission the opportunity to meet the youth of the mission
Big Stone Gap Officer Chandler had been responding to a welfare check at the time he was shot, according to previous reports obtained by News Channel 11.
When other officers arrived at the scene of the 2500 block of Orr Street, they found Chandler struggling to survive while lying in a ditch near the home to which he was responding.
Chandler was eventually flown to Johnson City Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.
While Virginia State Police have announced the arrest of a person on parole violations in Kingsport, Tennessee, no charges have yet been pressed related to the shooting.
Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton Chuck Slemp previously told News Channel 11 that to protect the integrity of the murder investigation, the agency has not released the arrestee’s name.