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Florida teen honors 2 fallen Georgia law enforcement officers with run

Both Deputy Marshall and Officer Desai died Monday. They're being honored by people all over the nation, including a 13-year-old in Florida.

ATLANTA — Jackson County Deputy Lena Marshall and Henry County Police Officer Paramhans Desai died Monday, within hours of each other. Every second since, tributes honoring both of them have been pouring in.

Both were shot in the line of duty last week as they responded to separate domestic calls. While two communities grieve, the whole nation is coming together during a difficult time.

Many police departments across the state ordered their flags be flown at half-staff to honor them both. But not only are both heroes being remembered in Georgia, they are also being honored by a teenager all the way in Florida.

Zechariah Cartledge, 13, runs one mile for fallen first responders. Tuesday night, he ran one mile for Deputy Marshall and another for Officer Desai.

“These two first responders would still be actively serving their community, still having kids to go home to, as well as many parents and family members," he said.

Cartledge started his organization, Running 4 Heroes in 2019, and it has since turned into a non-profit, accepting donations to help injured first responders.

“Even though we can't bring their first responder back to the family, we can help them heal, and their memory of their first responder will forever be alive," he added.

He's run over 1,040 miles since then, but he said it’s rare for him to run for two law enforcement members who died on the same day in the same state.

“It definitely is heartbreaking," he said. "Other than sometimes sadly, a duo that sometimes lose their life on the same call, it's usually very uncommon. It's only happened a few times."

Credit: Provided.

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For former Lawrenceville police officer, Brent Moss, who worked with Marshall back in the day, a death within the Blue family affects him differently. 

“I've been to more police officer funerals than I care to ever, ever want to see. And then here we are, we're about to go to another one. And it's just, it's unfortunate, and it should have never happened," Moss said.

Scott Holmes has been helping various law enforcement officers as a behavioral and mental health specialist.

“They become numb to the cares of the world because they’re so busy fighting and they just totally forget about themselves," he said.

Holmes added that the demand for mental health professionals among first responders has grown throughout the pandemic.

"One thing about trauma, a lot of times people hold it in. When a colleague dies due to gunfire, I see this: 'I'm giving up, I don't want to do this anymore. They don't care about us anymore,'" he said.

RELATED: 'He made a world of a difference' | Henry County resident shares kind experience with officer who was shot

He suggested law enforcement agencies seek out help through the Department of Justice, through the National Institute of Corrections.

"A lot of times, what they can do is they can provide tech-free technical assistance to any law enforcement agency, whether it be jails, law enforcement, prisons, or whatever it may be. That's free training to them, and they can get all the help that they need," Holmes suggested.

First responders can access more resources clicking here.

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