Fallen deputy focus of softball tourney

At least 160 public safety and education officials are expected to come together this weekend in Lovejoy to remember Clayton County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Daly, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year, and to raise money to benefit his family.

The Clayton County Sheriff's Office is slated to hold a softball tournament in Daly's honor Saturday, from 8:30 a.m., to 10 p.m., at the Gerald A. Matthews Complex, 1935 McDonough Road, in Hampton.

Sheriff's Office Investigator Jimmy Black, the event's organizer, said all of the money raised through the tournament will be given to Daly's family to help them with expenses.

Black is one of three sheriff's office employees who were with Daly when he was shot on July 20, allegedly by Johnathan Bun, who they were trying to arrest.

"He was the sole provider for him, and his wife," Black said. "We're trying to provide for his family, because he was one of us ... He is, and always will be, one of us."

The sheriff's office expects to be able to raise between $6,000, and $8,000, from team registration fees and concession sales, according to Black.

It has now been more than two months since Rick Daly was killed. He died while performing a traffic stop on a vehicle that Bun was in. Bun had outstanding felony warrants on him, in connection with the January armed robbery of a Forest Park store. Sheriff's office fugitive squad members had confirmed his location, and called for backup. Daly responded to the call.

Bun allegedly got out of the car, as Daly approached the vehicle, according to arrest warrants. Police have said Bun then allegedly shot Daly several times. The deputy's funeral, held a week after his death, was attended by approximately 2,000 people, most of whom were officers from several law enforcement agencies.

Fayette County Sheriff's Lt. Toby Daly, Rick Daly's son, said Wednesday that his family is still coping with his father's death. "We're taking each day, one day at a time," he said. "We're still learning to adjust to his being gone. It's just a slow process."

Toby Daly said most of the fallen Clayton County officer's family is planning to attend the tournament. The son is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during the tournament's opening ceremony at 10 a.m.

"We feel honored that they are doing this for daddy, and to honor his memory," Toby Daly said. He added that the fact that one of the people with his father in his final moments is planning the tournament "does bring a special meaning" to the event, for the family.

He said the family has received a lot of support from the Clayton County Sheriff's Office over the last two months.

"Sheriff Kimbrough has been really helpful, as far as making sure momma and the family is taken care of," Toby Daly said. The family, he said, feels it is important to attend the tournament to "show our appreciation for what they [the Clayton County Sheriff's Office] are doing" for the family.

Black said the teams signed up, so far, come from a variety of agencies, including: The Clayton County Sheriff's Office; Clayton County Police Department; Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services; Clayton County Public Schools; Henry County Police Department; Henry County Sheriff's Office; Fayetteville Police Department, and a team made up of officers from several law enforcement agencies in south Florida.

Sixteen teams have already signed up, the investigator added, but he said additional teams can still register for the tournament, until noon on Friday. Teams must have a minimum of 10 members, and the fee to sign up is $225, he said.

Black said teams can sign up by e-mailing him at jimmy.black@co.clayton.ga.us, or by calling him at (404) 456-4351. He added that the Sheriff's Office is also planning to hold a golf tournament, in November, to benefit the Daly family.