Danielle Rudesill recalls getting the call from the Abbeville Police Department that her younger sister had been shot while on duty.
“I didn’t know what to think. Your mind goes really fast when that happens to a loved one,” the 26-year-old told The Daily Advertiser. “You don’t know how to react.”
She was one of the first of her family members to get to the hospital on April 3. From there, it was a waiting game.
Kaitlyn Rudesill is a hard worker and has a great attitude, her sister said. Growing up, Danielle and Kaitlyn Rudesill both were involved in soccer, track and volleyball.
Once, Danielle Rudesill remembers Kaitlyn getting hurt playing soccer. Their mom picked Kaitlyn up to take her to the doctor but had to turn around five minutes later after Danielle got hurt, too.
Kaitlyn Rudesill always knew she wanted to give back to her community. She was torn between the medical field and law enforcement. She chose the Abbeville Police Department. It gave her a chance to interact with people from all walks of life in the town where she grew up.
“She’s enjoyed every second of it,” Danielle Rudesill said. “She loves to serve people.”
Now, Kaitlyn Rudesill is at home in the early stages of recovery. She’s happy to be home where she can see her adopted dog Emma. Her family is relieved.
“We’re just extremely blessed,” Danielle Rudesill said. “Not everybody gets a second opportunity in this situation.”
In the wake of the shooting, the community stepped up to take care of Kaitlyn Rudesill. Local law enforcement has taken care of her like family. The Lafayette Police Department is filling in at the Abbeville Police Department to ensure it isn’t short-staffed, said spokesman James Klock, an attorney in Lafayette.
Audubon Lake Apartments gave her family a place to stay while she was in the hospital. Vermilion High School, Kaitlyn Rudesill’s alma mater, and the Lafayette Police Association have started fundraisers.
“The people of Acadiana have come together and made it so she can concentrate on her recovery,” Klock said, “and not have to spend her time worrying about how her lights are going to stay on while she’s mending.”
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