FOREST ACRES, SC (WIS) - On Sept. 30, 2015, the Midlands lost a bright young officer with his full life ahead of him.
Forest Acres Police Officer Greg Alia was gunned down by Jarvis Hall in Richland Mall seemingly without rhyme or reason. We quickly learned Greg left behind a wife, Kassy, and a 6-month-old son, Sal.
Despite her unimaginable grief, the Midlands looked to Kassy to help all of us understand a completely preventable tragedy. Instead of wilting to the pain of their devastating loss, Kassy and the rest of the Alia family shined.
Using her own experience, Kassy also created Heroes in Blue, a non-profit group dedicated to bridging the divides between police and community.
That experience was put to the ultimate test Tuesday when Kassy and the rest of the Alia family attended the guilty plea hearing for Mr. Hall.
Listen to Kassy in her own words as she described her husband.
"I loved all of our seven years together but especially the last year. Greg was so great as a dad. Every day was so joyful. I remember driving home from work in early September right before he died. I started crying because I was so happy. I had everything I could ever want."
But Kassy and the Alia family's kind words clearly had an impact on Mr. Hall, who said he wasn't going to even speak until after he heard what they had to say.
"I just want to apologize from my own mouth and say I'm sorry for their loss and I'd like to apologize to everybody that my actions have affected and also my family as well."
Kassy and Alia's family has proven to the Midlands once again that grace and forgiveness in the face of overwhelming grief can ultimately be a healing power for all to see.
We wish the entire Alia family, including young Sal, good luck and better days ahead.