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Family and friends will come together on Wednesday to honor fallen FWC officer Julian Keen

Family and friends will come together Wednesday evening to remember the FWC officer, 30-year-old Julian Keen.

Keen was shot and killed in the area of Apache Circle and Nobles Road in LaBelle. He was off-duty at the time.

What once was a crime scene is now a memorial; flowers and American flags are sprawled on the ground where Keen was killed.

Keen took an oath to serve and protect, and that’s what he died doing.

He was known as “Batman” to his friends and family.

“Absolute shock, disbelief. I just couldn’t believe this happened to Julian,” said Steve Whidden, Hendry County sheriff.

Keen was off-duty when he stopped 20-year-old Eliceo Hernadez for reckless driving.

Deputies say during the stop, Hernandez shot Keen, who died at the scene.

“He touched so many people here in this community. We’re just devastated,” Whidden said.

Whidden said Keen was a great officer and an even better friend.

“He was a lightbulb everywhere he went. When he walked in a room, no matter what your problems were, you feel better because he had a smile on his face,” Whidden said.

Hernandez sits in the Hendry County Jail, and Whidden said it brings him peace of mind knowing Hernandez is off the streets.

“When someone is capable of committing an act like this, I have to make sure that the citizens of this county are safe,” Whidden said.

The vigil is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday at Barron Park, 1559 DeSota Ave., in LaBelle.

Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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