Family photograph of Jeffrey and Lorraine Yaslowitz and their children.
St. Petersburg, Florida - It was a powerful and moving interview, one that nobody expected.
The wife of K9 Officer Jeff Yaslowitz called in to the MJ Morning Show on 93.3 WFLZ to talk about her husband, who was a big fan of the show.
Listen: Interview with the fallen officer's wife
In a rare and unique moment, thousands of Bay area listeners were able to grieve alongside Lorraine Yaslowitz as she shared her most intimate memories of Jeff.
When asked what she would say to her husband, Lorraine began to cry and said, "I miss him. I love him more than anyone can love a human being, he's with my Lord and I can't wait to see him again, but right now, we are called to this, and we have to continue."
What's ironic, she says, he was humble and didn't like any attention. She says he died a hero, doing what he was born to do.
"This was his destiny, as much as I hate it. This was his destiny. He was supposed to die in the line of duty January 24th and you know, that said, it's comforting for our family because we realize that much more how God is in control," Lorraine said.
She also talked about the moment that police officers showed up that morning at the school where she teaches.
Gallery: Scene photos from the St. Petersburg Police shooting
According to police protocol, they were unable to tell Lorraine what happened. She had to wait during what she described as the longest car ride of her life as they drove to the hospital.
"On the ride there, I can't explain what was going through my head. I just bowed my head and prayed. Lord, this is your will, whatever this is, this is your will. It can be as simple as his finger is broken, to rush me to the hospital or he's shot, or it can be anything. They can't tell you what it is. I just held on. With the way he was driving, just, I knew something. He had his blue light, honking to get everyone out of the way. Just weaving weaving weaving weaving weaving down the interstate. I knew it had to be huge," Lorraine shared.
She says what she loved most about her husband, among other things, was his devotion to family and God.
"He was devoted to what he was passionate about . He was very passionate. He had a strong faith in Christ. Both of us had since we met 19 years ago. We've been married almost 18 years, it'll be this summer," she said.
"We've always talked about how blessed we have been over the past 18 years with our three beautiful children, with Caleb, Hallie and Calen, with our home our family. Not just material blessings, but all the rest, which speaks so much louder than anything. We always said, the Lord tests people who are faithful and we always knew, we all do as close walking believers, that the Lord is going to test you at some point," Lorraine told MJ.
She went on to describe the morning that she saw her husband for the last time.
"We got up and we had a really nice talk. I had a silly dream. We hugged and kissed which we always do. We're a very affectionate couple and very deeply in love. When he left, my youngest had woken up and is kind of a pistol in the morning, Jeff will put his K9 unit, his car lights on for him."
She went on to talk about her son, "He saw that Kellan had gotten up and he knew I would have to take care of him by myself because he's leaving on an earlier shift and he said, hey buddy, I'll put the lights on for ya, and Kellan was all excited because he loves that and he put the lights on for like five minutes. It was the weirdest thing. Usually he flashes it, flashes it, flashes it and takes off. He just kept doing it, and we're standing at the window and we're waving and blowing kisses and Jeff is blowing kisses, at him and me, and I was like, 'Wow Kellan, he's doing that for a long time.' Isn't that great. I wanted to pump him up. So, he wants to get dressed now and it worked. Jeff knew it was gonna work. He just stood there keeping the lights on and finally he took off. I that's gonna be my baby's final rememberance of him."
At one point, she joked that she told Jeff that she'd never be married to a cop, So, he gave up the dream for her.
But, it was fate, she admits. He was led into the direction of police work.
Jeff had several professions prior to being a police officer. He was a psychology major, a counselor and was going to go back for Master's Degree. He was working as a rehab technician and loved sports medicine.
But, police work was his true calling. The morning Jeff passed, he was actually filling in for a fellow K9 officer who broke his finger. When he was working, it wasn't even his shift.
Jeff and Lorraine joked about what his day would be like on that fateful Monday.
Lorraine said, "Well, tomorrow's Monday, maybe you'll have an exciting day. that's what i'm hearing. That's what I'm hoping for, and I just remember that conversation as he was driving home on Sunday."
She also talked about how her children are coping.
"They're doing good. My 8-year-old, she's the girl, so she's, 'I want my daddy back. I want to kiss my daddy.' But, for the most part, the boys are, Kellan's 5 and he keeps saying how much he's going to miss daddy and of course, in the days ahead, it's going to get a lot worse. Caleb my oldest is very mature in many ways, for his age and he understands, and saying he's with Jesus, he's there."
Ace, the K9 dog, will now stay with other K9 officers until she can care for him. Her children dearly love the dog.
"They're very very close with Ace. They brought him by. I can't even explain how I say I lost one husband and gained 40 or 50 of them. They're just right there and say we will go get Ace in the middle of the night. At this point, I really can't care for him. I can't explain, it's not just the St. Petersburg Police Department, it's this entire community. There's just so many outpours, I can't, a person can not really take in everything that's going on, but I feel so much support and love. You hear that when people go through that, but when you're experiencing it, it's totally different. I feel so much warmth from so many people many businesses, so many companies, it's incredible."
The officers will be memorialized during a viewing Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by a funeral tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 1900 Gandy Blvd., in St. Petersburg.
We will carry the funeral live tomorrow on 10 News and wtsp.com, you can watch it here, and read our full coverage of the St. Petersburg Police shooting.
Melanie Michael, 10 News