Funeral date announced for fallen Springdale police officer

Springdale Police provide details on funeral, procession for Kaia Grant

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The funeral for Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant will be Sunday, March 29, according to the Springdale Police Department.

Police will release full details of the funeral Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The procession will begin at 9 a.m. at Spring Grove Cemetery and travel to a venue in Springdale, where the remainder of the service will be held, said police spokesman Officer Keenan Riordan.

There will be “special circumstances” due to Gov. Mike DeWine’s shelter-in-place order and viewing alternatives will be provided, he added.

The governor has ordered all United States and Ohio flags be flown at half-staff at public buildings in Hamilton County to honor Officer Grant.

Law enforcement officers in Hamilton County also covered their badges with mourning ribbons.

Related | Tributes pour in online for fallen Springdale officer | Springdale officer killed, sergeant hurt in I-275 crash after pursuit

Remembering Springdale Officer Kaia Grant

Officer Grant died Saturday night when a chase suspect who was considered armed and dangerous and had threatened “suicide by cop” use his vehicle as a weapon by intentionally swerving and ramming two Springdale police cruisers on westbound I-275.

She is the first Springdale Police Officer to die in the line of duty.

Other than two jail matrons, she also is the first female line of duty death in the region, according to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.

Officer Grant was born in 1987 and raised in Wyoming, where she graduated Wyoming High School in 2005, according to her obituary on the police museum’s website.

She received a YMCA Southwestern Ohio Character Award for volunteerism when she was 18.

Officer Grant graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she studied economics and government, in 2009 and returned home and began an after-school program for at-risk youths in Cincinnati, according to the Springdale city newsletter.

She graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. Springdale police said Sunday they were excited when Kaia accepted their offer to join the department in 2012.

Lt. Lynn McKee, who is now retired, followed her through her field training. From the beginning, he said, it was obvious that she was going to be special, according to her obituary on the police museum’s website.

“She was very physically fit, always had a smile on her face, and always did more than she had to," he is quoted as saying.

Officers from neighboring municipalities and townships also held her in high regard.

Tributes are pouring in for Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant, 33, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday night.
Tributes are pouring in for Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant, 33, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday night. (Source: Springdale Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 4027 Facebook page)

Officer Grant and Sgt. Andrew Davis were listening to the pursuit on the police radio about 8 p.m. Saturday and knew it was coming into their jurisdiction down westbound Interstate 275.

They went out on the highway to throw down so-called stop sticks between Ohio 4 and Winton Road.

Officer Grant was preparing to or had already thrown out tire-deflating devices on Interstate between Ohio 4 and the Winton Road when 30-year-veteran Sgt. Andrew Davis pulled up and got out of his car to assist, according to the police museum.

Suddenly, Blankenship was coming through, but then he swerved his truck toward the officers and rammed the patrol cars, police have said.

Officer Grant was impacted by her 3000-pound car and gravely injured. Sgt. Davis was struck by flying vehicle parts and injured, according to the police museum.

Blankenship was also severely injured in the crash.

Air Care responded to fly Officer Grant to the University Hospital Medical Center.

Sergeant Davis and Blankenship were transported by ambulance to Bethesda North Hospital.

Officer Grant was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Davis was treated and released.

Blankenship’s gun was recovered at the scene.

He was flown from Bethesda North to UC Hospital, where emergency surgery was performed, according to the police museum.

Blankenship is still there at last check.

Springdale police say he will be charged with Officer Grant’s death and they are consulting with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officer Grant was transported Sunday from the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office to Thompson, Hall and Jordan Funeral Home in Forest Park.

Since the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum is closed due to the pandemic, retired Cincinnati Police Homicide Detective Ed Zieverink III, museum curator, erected a memorial in the front window of the museum.

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