11-year-old FL boy runs a mile in honor of Investigator Cecil Ridley

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Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019

Zechariah Cartledge, 11, ran a mile in honor of Investigator Cecil Ridley on Wednesday night. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- As the Richmond County Sheriff's Office mourns the loss of one of their own, one 11-year-old boy in Florida is making sure he's sharing in their grief.

Zechariah Cartledge, a Florida boy, has been paying tribute to fallen first responders through his foundation, Running 4 Heroes, for two years now.

He was inspired after watching a 9/11 documentary.

"After watching that hour-long video, I was almost to tears," Cartledge said. "I was really inspired by all of the heroes that went into those buildings."

Cartledge honors those men and women by running a mile every time a law enforcement agent dies in the line of duty. He's run 111 times for those lost this year, and he's even running for those lost in 2018.

Cartledge ran in honor of Richmond County Sheriff's Office Investigator Cecil Ridley on Wednesday evening.

The 11-year-old paid tribute to Ridley in a Facebook post Thursday.

"I really hate to see anyone sad," Cartledge said. "So, I really want everybody to find comfort in that county, especially the family of Investigator Ridley."

Cartledge, who runs with a thin blue line American flag, says he'll be sending the Richmond County Sheriff's Office the exact flag he ran with on Wednesday night--along with a handwritten note.

But, Cartledge was also carrying a message to the Ridley family 400 miles away.

"I just want them to know he was a true hero," Cartledge said in his message to the family. "We will never forget him. Even though it was in Georgia, down here in Florida we are still remembering him, and we will always."

Ridley, a 17-year law enforcement veteran, was killed Tuesday night during a patrol for weapons at Augusta Mart.

The suspect in this case, Alvin Hester, Jr. remains hospitalized after he was shot.

If you'd like to support Running 4 Heroes, more information can be found on their website.

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