PIERCE COUNTY — In the days and weeks to come, we will learn more and more about what happened the night Deputy Daniel McCartney was killed. But there’s one woman in Pierce County who says she knows more than most about what his family is going through and what is yet to come.
If anyone can understand what it means to lose a loved one in the line of duty, it’s Rebecca Humphrey. Just over one year ago, Humphrey’s fiancé, Tacoma police officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. It happened just four days before the couple was to be married.
“These are brutal. The killings are brutal and the first thing that goes through your mind is, was he in pain? I know that he laid there alone on that floor and bled out and he had no one with him,” says Humphrey.
Rebecca said she’s been reliving those terrible feelings all day, after learning Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney was fatally shot while responding to a home invasion Sunday night in Frederickson, leaving behind a wife and three young children.
Humphrey says the one thing that helped her through her grief is giving back to the community who stood by her and her own children. She spends a lot of time helping families like her own and, now, like the McCartneys.
“To get through the grief, sometimes it’s easier to give than to receive. So if receiving is hard for you, go out and give. It doesn’t really take the grief away. It doesn’t take the gut-wrenching pain away. It doesn’t help you sleep any better at night. But it truly does feel good to be loved on that hard,” says Humphrey.
Knowing how to help, or what to say, during these tragedies can be a fine line to walk. But Rebecca says it’s the thin blue line that connects the dots between these families.
“She’s loved by not just me, but so many people out there. Maybe they just don’t know how to say it, but having gone through it, I can definitely tell her, she’ll make it. She’ll find her own way. It will be on her own time, but she’ll make it,” says Rebecca.