‘He was an extraordinary man': Friends, family honor Ky. deputy at funeral

“He consistently went above and beyond in his service while demonstrating an unwavering sense of integrity and loyalty"

By Christopher Leach
Lexington Herald-Leader

GEORGETOWN, Ky. — With hundreds of people in attendance, friends and family of Scott County sheriff’s deputy Caleb Conley praised his personality and strong work ethic at his funeral Thursday.

The funeral took place at Scott County High School with friends, family and law enforcement officials showing up to support Conley’s family. Several people who were close with Conley spoke at his funeral, including his wife, mother and supervisor.

“He was an extraordinary man, known for his commitment and dependability,” said Capt. Jeremy Nettes with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. “He consistently went above and beyond in his service while demonstrating an unwavering sense of integrity and loyalty, both as a family man and as a member of the law enforcement brotherhood.”

Conley was shot on I-75 near the 127 mile marker around 5 p.m. while conducting a traffic stop on May 22, according to Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton. Steven Sheangshang, a suspect in several other offenses, is accused of killing Conley, according to arrest records. Conley was rushed to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Conley had served with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office for four years and served with the U.S. Army for eight years. He left behind a wife, small children and his parents, Hampton said.

Conley’s wife, Rachel Conley, thanked those who responded to her husband’s shooting and attempted to save his life.

“There are no words to express my gratitude for your tremendous heroism and response time,” Rachel Conley said. “I would also like to give a special thank you to the innocent bystanders that stopped to help Caleb and call 911 as well. All of you will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

Rachel Conley described her husband as a wonderful father and family man who would do anything for his family.

“He loved his children so much. He would do anything just to see them smile,” Rachel Conley said. “He would get so down on himself anytime he had to miss any of their events or games because he felt like he was disappointing them, and he didn’t like to let them down.”

Sgt. Robert Tackett, who was Caleb Conley’s supervisor, described some of the struggles he had been dealing with since Caleb Conley’s death. Tackett said he’d asked Conley to work overtime shifts frequently. He apologized to the family for taking time away from them.

“Then I argue with myself that there’s no telling how many lives were saved in this state by Caleb Conley patrolling the streets,” Tackett said. “It’s just one of the struggles I’ve had dealing with during these sleepless nights while questioning and trying to make sense of this all.”

Jolene Conley, Caleb Conley’s mother, said her son dreamed of being in law enforcement ever since he was a kid.

“He was living his dream,” Jolene Conley said. “Now those dreams are coming to an end, we could not have asked for a better son. He would help fulfill some of our dreams. Rest easy my dear sweet Caleb, your dreams will be carried on through others who love you forever.”

Sheangshang was arrested not long after a separate shooting in Lexington that occurred the same day as Conley’s death. He faces charges of murder of a police officer, wanton endangerment, evading police, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, three counts of burglary, two counts of possessing a handgun as a convicted felon and evidence tampering, jail records show.

Sheangshang was arraigned in a Scott County courtroom Tuesday. During Sheangshang’s hearing Tuesday, Judge Sarah Hays Spedding denied him bond and entered a not guilty plea for him.

Reporter Taylor Six contributed to this story.

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