Girl who survived shooting thanks officer before retirement - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Girl who survived shooting thanks officer during retirement ceremony

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Erica Hughes and Officer Steve Kelsey celebrated his retirement Friday night. Erica Hughes and Officer Steve Kelsey celebrated his retirement Friday night.
Erica Hughes and her mother Earon Harper Erica Hughes and her mother Earon Harper

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A girl who was 2 years old when she and her mother were found shot inside their home had the chance to thank the officer who helped save her life one more time before he retired.

Erica Hughes, who is now 10, celebrated with Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Steve Kelsey during his retirement ceremony at the Clifton Center Friday night.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Survivor Erica Hughes to be child safety advocate]

"I love him and I'm glad he's here," Hughes said. "And I love you, too," replied Officer Kelsey.

In May of 2006, Hughes and her mother, Earon Harper, were shot multiple times and left for dead inside their Wilson Avenue home.

Officer Kelsey found them and rushed Hughes to the hospital while two firefighters gave her CPR in the back seat.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Arrests made in murder of Earon Harper and shooting of her young daughter]

While Hughes survived, her mother did not. 

After a 15-month investigation police arrested two men, Kenneth A. Williams and James Quisenberry, who were charged in the shooting.

Hughes said she doesn't remember that fateful night but she considers Kelsey part of the family. Kelsey said he attends her birthday parties and often visits her at her grandmother's house.

Kelsey, who is currently a pastor, served 29 years as an officer for LMPD. Even though he is now officially retired, he plans to become a family counselor.

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