Amid the tragic loss of two Honolulu police officers, a fellow officer across the country is honoring them and their sacrifice.
Since 2016, Officer Jonny Castro with the Philadelphia Police Department has been hand drawing portraits of nearly every officer killed in the line of duty, and he asks for nothing in return.
“They died heroes and they’re not going to be forgotten,” Castro said about Officer Tiffany Enriquez and Officer Kaulike Kalama of the Honolulu Police Department.
Castro has never met Enriquez or Kalama. Both of them died in the line of duty on Jan. 19 after responding to a report of a stabbing in the Diamond Head area.
Police Chief Susan Ballard said after responding to the scene, Jerry Hanel, the suspect, opened fire on the officers.
“Once I hear about an officer passing in the line of duty, I get started right away and try to get it done as quick as possible,” Castro said.
Officer Castro then ships his portraits to the families of those killed in the line of duty across the country. Since 2016, he’s hand drawn over 500 portraits.
“They’re all done free of charge. I do police officers, military service members, fire fighters,” he explained.
Each portrait takes him 8 to 10 hours to complete.
“It’s just a way to give their families something to hold on to,” Castro said about why he does it.
Castro has a message for Officer Enriquez and Officer Kalama’s loved ones.
“Terribly sorry for their families loss, but they have people all the way across the United States thinking about them and praying for them,” he said.
Castro said honoring them is the least he can do to support the families.
“They’ve done so much for us. They’ve given everything. The least we can do is just always remember their sacrifice that they’re never forgotten,” he stated.
Castro said he will be shipping the portraits of Officer Enriquez and Officer Kalama on Tuesday, in hopes that it will get to their families in time for their memorial services.