(Memphis) – The death of Officer Martoiya Lang shocked many across the Mid-South.
Saturday evening, people gathered in the northeast Memphis neighborhood where the mother of four was killed to light candles, sing songs, and honor the life of the fallen officer.
“She was a mother, she was a friend, and she went out there every day to protect us,” said Matthew Downen to a crowd of more than 50 people.
“The way I look at it is, I know now our Savior Jesus Christ now has a new person to help protect his kingdom,” Downen said through tears.
He grew up on Mendenhall Cove where Lang lost her life. Downen was joined at the vigil by Lang's family members, friends, and co-workers who took the time to honor all law enforcement officers.
“I don't care what's going on or what you say, they're there for us,” said Joe Davis.
Downen is saddened that it takes a tragedy like this for people to remember the sacrifice officers make. He's reminded daily. His father is a retired MPD officer who now works as a Shelby County Sheriff Deputy.
“Yesterday after this happened, the first thing I did was walk into my dad's house and hug him and I told him, 'Thank God you're here' and he is here with me to this day and I am very blessed,” said Downen.
However, he recognizes Lang is never coming home. That's why he arranged the vigil. Downen says its for the four daughters Lang leaves behind, “Your mom will always be a hero.
The community is also raising money for the children of Officer Martoiya Lang. Donations are accepted at any SunTrust bank in the officer's name.