Nonprofit honors Columbus officer killed in line of duty with butterfly release

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A nonprofit organization, The Mission Continues, celebrated the birthday of Shirley B. Winston, a female police officer killed in the line of duty over 30 years ago.

Family, friends and supporters gathered at Shirley B. Winston Recreation Center at noon to release butterflies and balloons in memory of Winston.

The Columbus officer was tragically killed after her partner’s gun accidentally discharged and hit her under her vest.

According to Lakesha Stringer, the former platoon leader of The Mission Continues, they are also planning to host a candlelight vigil on Dec. 31, the day Winston died.

Jatavia O'Neal

Jatavia O'Neal

Jatavia joined the News Leader 9 team in February 2022.