By John Jessup
CWNews.com – NORTHERN VIRGINIA - It was a crime that shocked and saddened residents living around the nation's capitol: two police officers gunned down and killed in an ambush at a police station in suburban Washington, D.C.
But as tragic and painful an ordeal as it was, it's apparently sparked a religious awakening for hundreds in the area.
It was a day that started like any other. Forty-year-old Vicky Armel went to work, as usual, at her police station. What would happen hours later, no one ever expected.
"Vicky, the aggressive detective, was the one who said to our boss, 'Hey, there's been a couple of carjackings. Are we going to go out and look for it?' I'm (Mike) 15 seconds behind her," recalled Detective Mike Motafches of the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department.
As they headed out to do their jobs, Detective Armel and Master Officer Michael Garbarino were fatally shot in the parking lot of the police station, ambushed by an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, five handguns, and a hunting rifle.
Armel was the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the department's nearly 70-year history. The news shocked many around the region and drew the community's show of support in a makeshift memorial at the police station—and even more at her funeral.
Police estimate that anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 people paid their final respects at Detective Armel's funeral, many of them law enforcement officers from around the country, in town for National Law Enforcement Memorial Week.
Grieving friends and family came to mourn the woman they describe as well-liked and respected, kind, creative, and often candid about what she was thinking. They thought they would never hear from her again.
But they were wrong.
Imagine the emotions when they heard these words: "My name is Vicky Armel, and if you told me last year that I'd be standing in front of hundreds of people talking about Jesus Christ, I’d say you're crazy."
During the service, the packed auditorium listened to a recorded speech that Vicky gave last year, recounting how she came to make one of the biggest decisions of her life: to become a Christian.
Vicky's faith journey started two years before, with her friend and partner Mike Motafches.
"We knew it was going to be a long day on our investigation out in Maryland, Mike said, and she said, ‘You have the whole day to convince me that this Christianity stuff is true or God exists. I'm your audience for the next five hours.’
This article was excerpted from cbn.com. Click on title for the rest of the story