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'This one hits close to home:' Loss of Cayce officer will have impact on community

Kassy Alia Ray met with Officer Drew Barr when he was shot in 2017.

CAYCE, S.C. — Kassy Alia Ray knows the toll that a loss of an officer can have on a family and the community. In September of 2015, her then husband, Officer Greg Alia, was killed in the line of duty while working for the Forest Acres Police Department. 

So when she heard about the death of Cayce Officer Roy "Drew" Barr Sunday, who was shot while responding to a call early Sunday morning, she understood what it would mean in the Cayce area

"Every law enforcement death rocks the law community but this one hits especially close to home," she said.

RELATED: Cayce police officer killed in the line of duty; suspect dead after standoff identified

Ray is the CEO of Serve and Connect, an organization that fosters better relationships between law enforcement and the community. 

Ray had met Barr before. One of those times was with her organization when she visited Barr and another Cayce officer who were recovering from being shot following a police chase in 2017. In that instance, both officers suffered relatively minor injuries and returned to work soon. 

RELATED: Officer Drew Barr remembered as 'Godly' man by those he helped

"Drew was a true hero," she said. "You think about an individual who was directly injured in the line of duty just a few years ago and bravely--willingly--continued to serve every single day."

"It's shocking to me that he's gone and no longer with us on this Earth,' she added. "So for them I can only imagine the pain and I say because everyone's loss and grief is so unique. But I can tell you as someone who's been through it it's truly indescribable."

RELATED: Tributes placed on fallen Cayce officer's car

She said in cases like these, it's important for everyone in the community to rally together. 

"Please keep Officer Barr's family, the Cayce Police Department, all of his friends and the broader law enforcement community in your heart and in your prayers because they need it now more than ever," she said. 

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