Micheal R. Doty
EOW - January 17, 2018
On January 16, 2018, our lives changed forever. My husband’s life was changed forever.
I didn’t see him before he left for work that day. I often don’t see him before he heads out for a 12-hour night shift, even though my workday ends an hour-and-a-half before his night begins. I put my job before him.
I can’t remember if I talked to him before I went to sleep that night. I often start to doze while I’m watching TV and don’t make it a priority to dial his number. Instead I’ll send a quick text… I love you. See you in the morning. But I’m sure that I still scrolled through Facebook, Instagram and checked my email and the weather before closing my eyes.
I slept through his call at 5 a.m. I woke up to a text. And then I saw the news. Officers shot in overnight in York County, SC. Jonathan was there.
Before I knew it, he was home and telling me that we had to get to the hospital. Mike had been shot.
Mike Doty. Friend-Mike, as we call him in our home. Our friend that we had dinner with on Saturday. A brother who my husband had known since 2000. That he spent days and weeks at a time with prior to — and after — knowing me. That stood beside us at our wedding, stayed with us each separately during trips to the hospital, changed chirping batteries for me when my husband worked nights, and never said no to a request for help.
Our world stopped. We rushed to the hospital in silence. We found our way to the neurological unit and hugged his family. We stood alongside long-time friends, and law enforcement family. We shed tears and functioned through shock and disbelief and a sense of helplessness.
He was not alone. Three others police were shot in the early morning hours of January 16. The others all survived and are recovering.
On Wednesday, January 17, we said goodbye. As an organ donor, the family and medical team had to make the decision to remove life-support in order to save other lives. But not Mike’s. Mike’s life was taken suddenly, and without cause, because of an incident that has happened countless times in towns and communities across the world. When good and evil meet and the darkness gets the upper hand. A police officer – Detective Micheal Robert Doty with the York County Sheriff’s Office – laid down his life for his family, friends, and community trying to bring light to a dark and hurting world.
Dozens of law enforcement officers and friends gathered with his family and cried at the loss of a great and caring man who served all, welcomed all, and loved all.
My husband lost a best friend and a piece of his heart. Yet, friends that we had lost touch with were brought together on that day through their love for Mike.
The brokenness left in the wake of his death continues to be realized. Day-by-day the ones left behind have to take steps to keep living. But how?
We remember him. We say his name. We tell those who didn’t know him about the amazing selflessness he exhibited. We share stories of memories made in the years that we had with him. We continue his legacy by reaching out to the hurting. We honor him through the way his impact on us shows through. We are intentional in relationships and persistent in maintaining them. We allow him to be part of the present in spite of the fact that his life is now in the past. We love him today the same as we did when we had to say goodbye.
My husband, Jonathan, and I have decided to do these things. To start a foundation, Together with Mike's brothers, sister-in-law, and two close friends, that honors the memory and continues the legacy of Mike. The 809 Foundation will provide assistance in substance abuse prevention and treatment; youth mentoring; and community unity projects.
809 was the radio call number of Detective Micheal Doty, but in some law enforcement agencies it is also the radio code for a missing person.
Our dearest Mike, you will forever be our 809 – the missing person in our lives. We hope that we can do justice to the causes you held dear with integrity, empathy and resolve.
-Lisa Moseley, 809 Foundation Co-Founder