That he was.
Sacramento County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Mitchell lived across the street from us for just a few years. He and his wife Crystal moved closer into the heart of El Dorado Hills and I never saw him again. He worked evenings, so our encounters were always limited.
In 2003, our home was broken into, and before the El Dorado County Sheriff could respond, I had knocked on doors to determine if any neighbors had seen anything. Jeff had been sleeping, and my knock woke him up. But instantly, he was out the door, and reviewing the crime scene with me.
Jeff Mitchell was shot in October 2006 in a traffic stop in rural Sacramento County. The crime remains unsolved. His Killer is still at large. He left behind his wife, his then 6 year old son Jake, and a legacy of community involvement, tireless effort and supreme grace.
The initial reports on the shooting of course didn’t reveal the Deputy’s identity. We found out that it was Jeff that had been killed, when one of the local TV station news crews knocked on our door, looking for neighbors’ comment, as their records search indicated that Jeff and Crystal still lived across the street. They had moved years earlier
Jeff Mitchell Field opened this past weekend in El Dorado Hills. Jeff was a baseball fanatic and the field is an elegant tribute to his life, and his sacrifice. Several articles appear in our local paper The Village Life, but one quote stands out above all to me;
“They should feel happy about him,” said Jake. “He was a good man.”
And if that doesn’t break your heart, nothing will.