Supporters Raise $30,000 for Family of Former Montgomery Police Sergeant Who Died
Discovery Inc., site of 2010 hostage situation, contributes $7,500 to cause
Sgt. Kendrick Stephens
More than 200 people are helping the family of a former Montgomery County police sergeant who died unexpectedly in Virginia last week, raising $30,280 through an online campaign in one week.
Retired Sgt. Kendrick Stephens, 47, of Delray Beach, Fla., died on Aug. 9, a week after he broke his skull and suffered severe brain trauma in a fall, according to a GoFundMe page created on behalf of his wife, Kathleen.
Stephens was teaching a class in Richmond. He was taken to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in critical condition.
An update to the fundraiser page announced Stephens’ death.
Donations quickly poured in shortly after the campaign was created on Aug. 7, including multiple contributions of at least $1,000. A total of 239 people had contributed as of Wednesday afternoon, exceeding the goal of $30,000.
Discovery Inc. paced the donations with a $7,500 contribution. Stephens was directly involved with a tactical operation in September 2010 involving a hostage situation at the Discovery Communications headquarters building in Silver Spring.
A man armed with a gun and explosive devices took three hostages in the building on Sept. 1, 2010, before being shot and killed by officers from the county’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), according to news reports.
“Discovery was deeply saddened at the loss of retired Sgt. Kendrick Stephens,” Discovery Inc. Chief Corporate Operating Officer David Leavy said in a statement. “Sgt. Stephens was a courageous man who played a critical part in resolving the 2010 hostage situation at our Silver Spring headquarters.”
Leavy also donated $1,000 to the fundraising campaign, beyond the company’s donation.
“We are proud to honor Sgt. Stephens’ memory, are forever grateful for his service, and will always hold him in our hearts,” Leavy said.
Stephens was with the county police department for nearly 20 years, serving from June 1994 to October 2013, according to his LinkedIn page. He was a member of the county’s SWAT team for 16 years, performing more than 2,000 operations.
“The Department mourns the loss of retired Sergeant Kendrick Stephens,” the department posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org