JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A non-profit group has fully paid the mortgage of a U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty at a motel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation in a news release announced New Year’s Eve that it had paid off the mortgage of the Jackson County, Mississippi home of slain Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells, news outlets reported.
Wells was shot and killed on March 10, 2015, while trying to arrest a convicted felon wanted for a double homicide.
The 27-year-old had served with the United States Marshals Service for four years and was assigned to the Southern District Office in Mississippi. Wells was married, and he and his wife, Channing, were expecting a son at the time of his death. She named him Josie Wells Jr., after his father.
Channing Wells said the non-profit’s support made her birthday and the holiday so much brighter.
“I honestly feel so blessed, especially during this holiday season when loved ones grieve during the loss of family members,” she said, adding that the holiday would “feel a lot different this year knowing that my forever home has become my forever home.”
The final mortgage payoff fulfills the promise made a year ago by Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller to provide 200 homes to American heroes in honor of the organization’s 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I am honored to pay off the mortgage for the Wells family so they can celebrate the start of 2022 without this financial burden,” Siller said.
Josie Wells, a Pascagoula native, came from a family of law enforcement officers. His father, Obie Wells Sr., retired from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and his brother, Obie Wells Jr., is a Jackson police officer.