Family of fallen officer finds healing by helping others coping with the same loss

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah -- Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of the day Sgt. Cory Wride was shot and killed by a suspect fleeing from police, and supporters are honoring his memory as his loved ones reach out to the family of another officer who recently gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Eagle Mountain City put out flags and lit up City Hall with blue lights, honoring the last week of January as Law Enforcement Appreciation Week.

Two years ago Saturday, Sgt. Cory Wride of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was shot and killed along Highway 73 in an ambush-style attack.

Saturday, his widow spoke about the silver linings she has experienced over the past two years.

“I think that if Cory had a chance to come back, he wouldn't, because there's so many blessings and so many tender mercies that come from this,” Nanette Wride said. “So many hearts that have been touched, and I don't think he would take it back for one minute. I know that he is looking down, knowing that we are doing the very best we can to honor him."

The anniversary comes as Utahns are mourning the loss of another officer killed in the line of duty, Unified PD Officer Douglas Barney, who was shot and killed earlier this month.

"To remember them and pay tribute to them just means everything," Wride said of the support for both fallen officers.

Wride said earlier this week, they attended the funeral of Officer Barney to lend their support.

"When another officer dies in the line of duty, it's like ripping your band-aid off and starting all over again," she said.

And she said she was impressed by how Erika Barney appeared to be handling a loss she knows all too well.

"To watch Erika and her strength, I mean she was so poised and so in control," Wride said. "Myself, I couldn't even speak that day, let alone remember half the stuff that happened."

Wride has started an organization to help others cope with the loss she and Erika Barney and so many others have endured.

"It's called Blue Haven, and it's actually to serve and help support mentorships for widows and fallen officer's children," she said. "So, we'll help take care of them, and actually we whipped it out the very first day for the Barneys. We weren't ready, but we did it anyways, and it just has rolled forward really quickly."

Wride's son, Nathan Mohler, also reached out to the Barney family, in particular their son.

"I teach kids that age and so I really thought, maybe I can connect with him," he said.

Mohler shared the message he passed along: "Be strong. Your dad will be there, you'll feel him there. I told him that he'd get to know him in a way that he never knew him before. I just let him know that he's going to get through it."