SAVANNAH, Georgia -- A Savannah police officer who was shot and killed Saturday night while responding to a robbery on Bull Street was a husband, father and military veteran, Savannah Police Department Chief Roy Minter said during a press conference Sunday night.
Sgt. Kelvin Ansari left behind a wife and four children ranging in ages from 5 to 25-year-old, Minter said. He also was a 10-year veteran of the department and served 21 years in the Army.
“Last night we lost a great man,” Minter said. “We lost a man who spent a substantial portion of his life protecting our country and protecting our community. We lost a husband. We lost a father. We lost a leader.”
Sgt. Ansari and another officer were shot when approaching a vehicle matching a description connected to the robbery at about 8:10 p.m. Saturday, the police release says. The other officer, Douglas Thomas, was shot in the leg. He was released from Memorial Hospital Saturday night and is recovering at home.
“Our Savannah Police Department family is hurting today,” Minter said. “This is a tough time for us. This is also a tough time for the families of the officers. We will get through this but it will take us some time.”
He asked for thoughts and prayers from the community.
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach said he met with Sgt. Ansari’s widow and promised the city would do whatever it could to ease the pain.
“Our community owes these men and all the men and women who wear the badge a debt of gratitude,” DeLoach said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations was called to investigate the incident because of the officer involved shooting, Minter said. He said the department could not answer any questions about the investigation.
GBI released via a Tweet Sunday that the subject involved in the shooting had also died during the incident.
More than a 1,000 people shared a Sunday morning SPD Facebook post about the incident including multiple Georgia and South Carolina law enforcement agencies.
More than 300 people commented on the post.
“Praying for all the officers and command staff, dispatchers and administrative professions to have some peace during this very difficult time,” one person wrote.
Minter said multiple law enforcement agencies in the region showed up to assist the department following the shooting. He said this included responding to calls while the department grieved.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted about the incident Sunday morning asking that the officer’s family, loved ones and all law enforcement officers be kept in thoughts and prayers.
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