Tuesday marks the 12th anniversary since late Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden was shot during a traffic stop.
The 26-year-old police officer was shot by Richard Evans on Jan. 10, 2005, near the intersection of Nifong and Forum Boulevard. Officer Bowden was returning Evans' license and planned to give him a traffic warning when she was shot.
Three bullets struck Bowden, hitting her in the neck just above her bulletproof vest. Emergency crews transported Bowden to the hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries on Feb. 10, 2005.
Bowden was the first CPD police officer killed in the line of duty.
Former Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehem told ABC 17 News on Tuesday that Officer Bowden was an excellent officer.
"The one skill that police officers use every single day is their ability to communicate with people well, and she did that almost instinctively, and her smile was infectious, and she was just a great person to have on the department," said Boehem.
Evans killed himself the next morning after the shooting as a police manhunt closed in on him. Officer Curtis Brown was shot in the arm by Evans during a chase, but he recovered from the injury.
The annual Officer Molly Bowden Memorial Blood Drive is scheduled for Friday, January 27. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grace Bible Church on Blue Ridge Drive in Columbia.