Police officer from Poplarville Medal of Meritorious Conduct

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 9, 2018

On May 30, Officer JaRell Aaron, originally from Poplarville, received a medal from the Richardson Police Department in Texas for Meritorious Conduct.

Officer Mike Wieczorek with the Richardson Police Department said, on February 7 officers responded to a disturbance at a local apartment complex where they saw a man lying outside with a severe gunshot wound. Neighbors told officers that someone inside the building had shot the man. Paramedics were called to the scene and officers went to the upstairs apartment to investigate, Wieczorek said. Upon entry the suspect, who was lying in wait, immediately shot them at. Wieczorek said Police Officer David Sherrard was shot but managed to escape with the help of Aaron and another officer.

Wieczorek said Aaron helped carry Sherrard down the stairs and to the paramedics who performed first aid to try to save his life.

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The remaining officers upstairs were trapped in the kitchen area by continuous gunfire, Wieczorek said. Several times the suspect attempted to lure officers out of the kitchen area by talking to them and screaming for help. However, each time officers peered around the corner of the kitchen, the suspect would begin shooting again, Wieczorek said.

Eventually, an officer with a ballistic shield entered the apartment and was able to draw the suspect’s fire long enough for the others to escape. Wieczorek said the SWAT team was called to the scene and the suspect eventually surrendered.

Although every effort was made to save his life, Sherrard eventually succumbed to his wounds at the hospital, Wieczorek said.

“I don’t like to glorify anything that I did or anything that I do – especially in that situation since it wasn’t anything anyone expected. I didn’t have time to think about the consequences and what might happen to me. I saw a man down and I saw what needed to be done. I did the best that I could do,” Aaron said.

Aaron said he was born at Crosby Memorial Hospital in Picayune and lived in Poplarville until he graduated high school. When he went to the University of Southern Mississippi, he pursued a degree in criminal justice. He said he always loved playing sports, so when he was deciding on a career he wanted to do something where he could be part of a team. He wanted a job with good job security and a good community, he said.

Aaron said while he was at Southern, a recruiter from Dallas came and said that there was a job opening with the Richardson Police Department. He said he decided to give law enforcement a try, so after his last football game, he packed up and moved to Texas.

“I love Mississippi to death, but I probably wouldn’t move back. There’s a lot to do here. I do miss the peace and quiet sometimes, because this city doesn’t sleep at all,” Aaron said.

Because of his efforts on the night of February 7, Aaron was awarded the Medal of Meritorious Conduct on May 30 by the Richardson Police Department.