The children of United States Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans pay their respects

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Logan Evans, 11, was an honorary member of Operation Deep Blue, a kayaking challenge to support surviving law enforcement and military families.

OXON HILL, Md. – On a cool fall morning at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., 11-year-old Logan Evans suited up for Operation Deep Blue, a kayaking challenge to raise funds for the family law enforcement and military personnel who died in the line of duty.

As Logan’s 9-year-old sister, Abagail, and mother Shannon Terranova looked on, Logan climbed into a tandem kayak three times the size, seemingly phaseless to the challenge ahead. After all, Logan and Abagail were no strangers to Operation Deep Blue or the group’s mission.

A few days earlier, while Abagail was playing with a Lego replica of the US Capitol in her mother’s playroom, she explained how Logan had joined the Operation Deep Blue team.

“He worked at the North Barricade,” Abagail said.

“The day he died, April 2, 2021, I was so excited because it was a Friday and Dad was coming to pick me up.”

Officer Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, never made it. United States Capitol Police said a lone wolf driver rammed his vehicle into Evans and another Capitol Police officer guarding the north barricade. Officer Evans’ partner survived. Evans did not.

The suspect was shot by police at the scene, and the motive for his attack remains a mystery.

Four police officers and a priest arrived at the home of Evans’ ex-wife, Shannon Terranova, to deliver the news.

“This is not where we should be,” Terranova said, fighting back tears. “I’m just sad. It shouldn’t be anybody’s reality. They should grow up with their dad. They just should.

Logan described receiving the news.

“At first I’m like, you’re like you’re not telling the truth,” Logan recalled telling the group who informed the family of Officer Evans’ death. “But then, uh, I came downstairs in the middle of the night – mum was watching the news. And then it said so on the news. And then I felt bad telling them they were lying.

“Over time it got a little easier,” Logan said. “But not that much.”

As he spoke, Logan hugged a teddy bear made from one of his father’s old Capitol Police uniforms.

“It says it’s a shirt I wore every time you hold it, I’m here,” Logan said, reading the inscription on the teddy bear’s foot.

Terranova said she was inspired by the resilience of the children in the 18 months since their father died.

“It’s more that they can be the ones that brighten your day,” Terranova said. “They can be the ones that remind you why you keep going. Because there is no other choice.

“Dad’s probably right there,” Abagail said, pointing to an empty space on the couch between her and Logan. “Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

Logan said he knew he and his sister must have grown up faster than most kids their age.

“It just happened,” he said. “I just got brave.”

“I kinda feel like it was daddy’s spirit lifting me up and trying to keep me going,” she said.

You could see Logan channeling the spirit of Officer Evans as he kayaked over 30 miles with Operation Deep Blue for two days, his father’s photo pinned to his life jacket. At times, Operation Deep Blue battled through high winds and choppy waters, before ending the emotional journey at DC Wharf.

There, bagpipes played alongside an eternal flame alongside other family members who lost loved ones in the line of duty and were honored by Operation Deep Blue.

“What kept them going was thinking about their honorees,” Operation Deep Blue Vice President Charlie Atie said as he addressed family members during a tribute. moving to conclude the kayak. “And I want the surviving family members to know that you remain in our hearts, in our minds and in our hearts every day.”

Operation Deep Blue President Thomas Hauck gave Logan the special sign with his father’s photo to take home.

“You’re going to leave with this sign and now this is the sign you’re carrying,” Hauck said.

Officer Billy Evans, who still watches over Abagail and Logan. Just as he watched over the north barricade of the US Capitol.

“I feel like there’s a little door in my heart that he can step into,” Abagail said. “I feel like it’s probably quite comfortable in there.”

In a statement, Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher of the United States Capitol Police told WUSA9:

“Billy Evans’ family will forever be part of our United States Capitol Police family. We will never be able to fill the void left by Billy, but we will try to honor his bravery and 18 years of service by supporting Shannon, Logan, Abigail and the whole family at every opportunity. We will be there for them, just as Billy was there for us and for our mission.

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