Lt. Wade Sharp
Photo credit: Covington Police Department
As winds began to rip through a campsite in Mississippi Wednesday morning, a vacationing Louisiana police officer only had one thing on this mind: saving his daughter.
Covington Lt. Wade Sharp threw himself on top of his 9-year-old daughter who was sleeping in the tent beside him as the destruction occurred around them at the Jeff Busby Campground around 6 a.m., according to The Times-Picayune.
A tree soon fell through the tent, striking the father on the back of the head, killing him.
Thanks to Sharp's efforts, his daughter went uninjured and was quickly found by nearby campers.
Two Covington officers accompanied his wife to the campground later that day to pick up her daughter.
"He was a hero all the way through his whole career, and was a hero to the end," Covington Police Chief Richard Palmisano told the newspaper.
The storm was part of a weather system that spawned tornados and claimed the lives of more than 200 people in states throughout the south.
The 19-year veteran of the force was head of the agency's criminal investigations division, gained notoriety for several rescues during his career and was a well-respected officer.
"People always requested to work for him or with him. He was an enjoyable person to be around," Palmisano said. "Right now I think the big thing is for everyone to keep in their hearts and their prayers the family, especially his children and his wife."