MERIDIAN, Miss. (WJTV) – It was supposed to be a day off for Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom when he responded to a domestic violence call where he was gunned down in the line of duty.

“Croom was a great guy. He was so loyal. He was a very hard worker. Anytime the shifts needed his assistance, he was always there for them. Always volunteering to work, so he was a dynamic officer, hard worker, not scared of anything or anybody, and we appreciate everything that Officer Croom did. It’s a big loss for the Meridian Police Department,” said Meridian Police Chief Deborah Nailer Young.

During a memorial service for Croom on Thursday, many people told stories of his natural ability to love. He had a special place in his heart for children. 

“As a brother, Kennis was hilarious. He was so funny. He kept us laughing. One thing you will remember of Kennis is his smile, and the way that he took care of people. He loved children. His top priority was to make sure that children were safe, and they were protected that they had a role model ,and he was focused on being a role model for these children and making a difference in their lives,” said Tamara Croom, the officer’s older sister.

Officer Croom died a hero. Some said he was always selfless.

“Officer Croom is a exciting young man from his days from when he was in high school, things he did in the community. Everybody always loved him. He was very mannerable. Always willing and trying to help somebody somehow in some way,” said Marvin Lucas, member of the school board for Tuscaloosa City Schools.

Croom served in eight police departments from the age of 22 until his passing at the age of 30.