Former Hattiesburg officer reaches out helping hand to child shooting victim - again

A former HPD officer is coming to aid a little girl _ again
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A former Hattiesburg police officer, who rushed to help a child injured in a shooting last year, is among those coming to her aid again to help with her surgery in just one week.

The officer and family are sharing more about the unexpected relationship beyond the call of duty.

When you meet 6-year-old Royalty Moffett, her infectious laughter and love for life should be the first thing you notice.

But that’s not always the case in first grade

“The kids snatches her glasses and asks her what is wrong with her eye,” said Royalty’s grandmother Roberta Fairman. “And then, she starts crying and I have to get her and calm her down,”

Royalty’s life changed more than 18 months ago when she lost her eye in an unsolved Hattiesburg shooting that killed her cousin, Ja’Kyrie Silas.

Former HPD patrol officer Ken Jones was the first on scene.

“When it is children, especially with me being a father, you know. Innocent lives, people that cannot make the choice if I am going to be with good or evil, that is what really sticks,” said Jones, who now works with the Biloxi Police Department.

Despite the tragic introduction, Jones still keeps in touch with Royalty and Fairman.

“I adopted him in the family because he was a big help to us,” said Fairman. “In the beginning, he tried to save Kyrie,”

Said Jones: “Once a week she calls, whether it is to talk or pray over me, or just tell me to be safe for that day or night for shifts,” Jones said.

Royalty’s family recently learned she’d be able to get a prosthetic eye during a fourth procedure.

Optimism faded when Fairman said she learned the Memphis doctor couldn’t take their Mississippi insurance.

“I was at the moment to sell my car so my baby can have her surgery,” said Fairman.

Officer Jones helped the family set up a Go Fund Me account, while loved ones also got donations from a church and other friends.

“I am involved in these people’s lives because I actually care. I am not just doing a job,” said Jones.

The family is still a few thousand dollars short ahead of next week’s surgery, but her grandmother knows they’ll find a way.

Fairman said donations also are being accepted at Regions Bank under her or Royalty’s name.

“It would be a blessing,” Fairm,an said. “I am not able to work and my daughter is not able to work, so we are just doing what we are doing to try to help,”

Roberta Fairman is thankful for the support and donations so far from strangers, as well as newfound family, like Officer Jones, who is bound by a bond formed through tragedy that’s blossomed into a forever friendship.

“Sometimes going over and beyond is what it takes to touch someone,” said Jones.

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