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thedrifter
04-09-06, 07:23 PM
Church members miss injured officer
Updated: 4/9/2006 5:31:25 PM
By: Brittany Morehouse, News 14 Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One Charlotte congregation celebrated Palm Sunday without a much-loved member.

Officer Kayvan Hazrati, a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was wounded in the line of duty Wednesday. Authorities say 32-year-old Christopher Ellerbe shot Hazrati in the head while he was trying to serve a rape warrant with several other officers.

The incident made this weekend significantly different for some south Charlotte churchgoers who, every Sunday for the past five years, have seen Hazrati directing traffic outside the Church at Charlotte on Carmel Road.

“Today was real hard; we walked across the street and we didn’t see him, and we’re just hoping he’s doing well,” said church member Carolyn Dickenson.

The 37-year-old officer is already dearly missed, members of the congregation said.

“Everybody knows him – everybody. And everybody loves him,” one woman said.

Hazrati had just recently accepted the job with the street crimes unit that led to his injury.

“He’d just got on this five weeks ago, and he was really excited about it,” said Harold Bogart, a retired police officer.

Bogart said Hazrati frequently attends meetings of a church group called RAMS, Retired Active Men of Service.

“It’s older people, older than Kayvan, but he joins us for breakfast on Wednesday mornings,” he said. “He just really bonded with us.”

Hazrati is also known for connecting with the younger generation.

“He speaks to the boys and always has something very inspirational,” Dickenson said.

“I think it’s special to help the church out and stuff like that,” said 8-year-old Eric Dickenson.

Young Eric said he admires the wounded officer, and, like many others at the church, sends his prayers, hope and love.

“We wrote him a card: ‘Dear Officer Haz, we are praying for you and we love you, love Eric,’” he said.

Hazrati, with the help of all those good wishes, will probably be back to work at the church in no time.

Fortunately, when the officer was shot, the bullet lodged in the anterior part of his brain, and after undergoing surgery he began quickly recovering. Loved ones said the officer is now in fair condition. He has moved into a private room at Carolinas Medical Center, where he is even walking and talking.

Hazrati’s alleged shooter was apprehended after a seven-hour standoff. Ellerbe is charged with attempted first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Ellie