When Shetara Sims, a single mother in Missouri who recently lost her job and is struggling to pay her bills, donated her $100 lottery winnings to help a Kansas City police officer who was shot, the Police Department decided to help her.
“Today, Shetara and her daughter Rakiya came to meet some of coworkers of the officer who was critically wounded,” Kansas City Police wrote on their Facebook page.
“They also were there during the shooting. Shetara and Rakiya are the ones who had little money, but after finding a dollar in a grocery store parking lot used it to buy a lottery ticket that ended up winning $100 and then decided to donate it to the wounded officer. They are the ones whom so many people wanted to help after hearing their story of profound selflessness.” The officer was shot on July 2 and critically injured but is recovering.
“The officer shot in the head was upgraded from critical to stable condition this week. He is no longer intubated and is breathing on his own. He is doing physical therapy and can stand with assistance. He is becoming more alert, and doctors are monitoring continued progression in neurological function and responsiveness,” police wrote on July 17. They described what happened to the officer, whose name wasn’t released, this way, “KCPD officers were called to a disturbance in which a man was walking around threatening people with a gun near 31st and Van Brunt. As officers arrived, the suspect ran, and officers ran after him on foot. The suspect began shooting at officers and struck one in the head.”
Police wrote that it took some time to track down Shetara and her daughter because she didn’t leave a name when she first donated, but added, “We’re so glad we did, and we’re so glad they got to meet the wounded officer’s coworkers and friends.”
Police set up a GoFundMe page to help Sims and her daughter. It’s raised more than $97,000 as of July 23.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say Sims Regarded Detectives as Her ‘Therapists, Fathers & Lifelines’ When Her Daughter Was Murdered
Police gave the fuller story on the GoFundMe page, explaining that Sims’ daughter was murdered but she appreciated how the detectives on the case dealt with her family during that tragedy. Her daughter Karyia was only 19 when she was slain.
“A woman called the Kansas City Missouri Police Department July 10,” the GoFundMe reads. “She wanted to help the officer who was shot July 2 and remains in the ICU. We (the KCPD) advised he’s well cared for, but if she wanted to donate for restaurant or gas station gift cards for his family so they can eat at and travel to/from the hospital, we were accepting those at East Patrol Division. She went on to say she lives in the urban core of Kansas City, and her daughter was murdered in 2012. She said the detectives who worked her daughter’s case were like her therapists, fathers, and lifelines all in one.”
According to KMBC-TV, Sims had only $7 and past due bills when she donated the lottery winnings. Her daughter’s name is Rakiya Edmondson and she is 12 years old.
Sims told the television station, “The detectives were really there for us. They were there for us more than anyone I can imagine. They did things they didn’t have to do.”
2. Sims Recently Lost Her Job & Used a Dollar She Found in a Parking Lot to Buy the Lottery Ticket
According to police, Sims has been going through some tough times.
“She said she lost her job a month ago and has been struggling to pay her bills. She went to the grocery store last week and found a $1 bill in the parking lot,” police wrote. “She used that to buy a lottery ticket, with which she won $100. Her 12-year-old daughter was with her and said, ‘Mom, we should give that to the police officer who got shot.’ She agreed immediately. With her current financial hardship, we urged her to keep the money. She refused, saying the officer’s family needed it, and police needed to know they were supported.”
“To hear her call and just express thanks for no reason other than she’s thankful, it’s really impactful to us, and it’s really touching to us,” Kansas City Police Department Sgt. Jake Becchina told CNN.
3. It Took Time for Police to Track Sims Down
After people contacted the police about wanting to help Sims out, they decided to track her down.
“We at KCPD shared this wonderful act of humanity on our social media. Then hundreds of people said they wanted to help her out. However, the woman had called from an unlisted number and didn’t leave a name,” police wrote.
“It took a while, but we were able to track her down. Her name is Shetara Sims. She is on the left of this photo (along with KCPD social worker Brooke and Officer Earle). She’s a struggling single mom. Even when we found her again, she asked, ‘Don’t the officer and his family need it more?'”
Added police: “Shetara’s act of kindness has touched Kansas City, and they wanted to give back.”
In July, Sims wrote on her Facebook page, “1st Responders is the most Thankless job until we need them!! Damn Shame!!! Thank you to all 1st Responders!”
4. Sims’ Daughter Was Remembered as ‘Beautiful’ & Full of Life
The obituary for Sims’ daughter Karyia Shaynigne Edmundson says she was “born in Muskogee, Oklahoma June 10th, 1993 to Shetara Edmundson Sims and Lonnie Carr, Jr.”
“She was beautiful, full of life kinda kid who grew up to be a person who touched everyone she came in contact with. She played volleyball, basketball and ran track. She graduated from Della Lamp High School, Kansas City, MO with the class of 2010,” her obituary says.
“She attended college for a few years, but her dream was to be a barber. Her brothers allowed her to cut their hair but after seeing their cuts, it was suggested that she find a new dream. Having professed her love for the Lord, Karyia dedicated her life to him. She will be remembered for her love and devotion to her family and friends and her dynamic spirit and personality, along with her desire to making you smile even if the joke was on her.”
Police accused another woman of shooting Edmundson after a fight over a robbery.
5. People Praised Sims’ ‘Heart of Gold’
Police wrote that they wanted to help the woman “with the heart of gold.” Other people shared similar sentiments on social media and on the GoFundMe page. Here are some of the comments:
“Good on you Shetara! What a striking contrast to the selfishness and ill will being displayed many others in our society these days…”
“May the light in you and your daughter continue to shine and guide our society for a long time to come. Thanks for bringing the love!”
“Shetara and her daughter are a prime example of what good can accomplish over pure evil!! God Bless both of them and the Kansas City PD for spreading the love!!”
“You deserve this. Your kindness and sacrifice gives hope that all is not bad in the world. So like you gave to someone in need, so will I. I wish you the best in everything in your future!”
“May the Lord continue to bless and protect this sweet, loving woman and daughter. Thank you both for showing God’s love to this officer and his family.”