CLEVELAND (WJW) – Jacqueline Ketterer is a retired Cleveland Police Officer. She comes from a family of blue. When she heard there was a Cleveland police officer killed Friday, she panicked. Then sadly found out it was officer Shane Bartek, her cousin’s son.
“I thought we have to get family together, gather the troops and hold on and take this terrible journey that we’re about to take on again,” said Ketterer.
She says again because this feeling is all too familiar for Ketterer. She lost her son, Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, in 2017. He was killed by a hit and run driver when he was responding to a crash on I-90.
“It’s tragic and it’s so hard,” said Ketterer. “We both lost our sons where there was a suspect on the loose so besides the fact that we’re worried about our child, we’re also worried about the public’s safety.”
Cleveland police say there was a fight while officer Bartek was being carjacked Friday night. Ketterer says she believes he was reacting in a way he was trained to react.
“We tell people if you’re a victim nothing is worth your life,” she said. “Give them your keys, your wallet, your car. But I think the police in you kicks in and you’re like, ‘I’m going to handle this situation as a policeman and not a victim.’”
Ketterer says Officer Bartek’s mother, Debra, is struggling, but she’s holding up. She says she’s trying to help her through it by giving advice.
“I tell her to take each day and know that she has support,” said Ketterer. “Don’t worry about the little things or the big things take it a day and a time and it’s going to hurt forever.”
Debra Bartek sent the following statement to FOX 8 News: “Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude for the overwhelming show of love and support. Shane lived his life to the fullest. He didn’t take life too seriously but always made sure everyone around him was taken care of and happy. He was goofy, always had a smile on his face, and always brought people out of their shells with his confidence and calm demeanor. Shane was a son, a brother, a twin, and friend. But so much more. He lived his life in kindness and to help others. He will be missed forever.”
Ketterer says the two tragedies in their family won’t stop them from bleeding blue. Her eight-year-old grandson even says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. And now their family has both Officer Fahey and Officer Bartek looking out for them from above.
“They were good boys and all they wanted to do was do the right thing,” said Ketterer. “They wanted to see that society takes one step in the right direction. I’m five years into this and it doesn’t make it any easier but we appreciate the brothers and sisters in blue still fighting the fight to keep our hero alive in our hearts.”