(WGN) Thousands gathered on the South Side Friday for a funeral honoring one of two Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty this week.
Officers Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo were struck and killed by a commuter train Monday while pursuing a shooting suspect. A man has since been charged in the incident.
The life of 31-year-old Gary was celebrated Friday with full police honors as well as remembrances from the governor and mayor. Hundreds of fellow officers attended the services at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel.
Gary was remembered for his kindness to others and his willingness to serve. He was described as hard-working and generous; he often got coffee for coworkers.
Gary had only been on the force for 18 months and is survived by his wife, Kelly, and 6-month-old daughter, Tess. He previously served in the U.S. Air Force for five years.
The Rev. Dan Brandt delivered a homily that referenced the pain of the past 12 months — a year that has seen four Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty.
Cmdr. Paul Bauer was shot dead in February while pursuing a person of interest in a shooting downtown. Officer Samuel Jimenez was gunned down last month at the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center shooting, which also took the lives of an emergency room doctor and a pharmacy resident.
Brandt praised Gary’s loyalty, integrity and honor.
“He was reliable,” Brandt said. “He would always answer up on the radio. When a fellow officer needed help, he was there.”
“It was this sense of duty that led them up the embankment [the night he was killed],” Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said. “Together they climbed that steep hill because they were determined to get yet another illegal weapon off the streets of Chicago. It was this sense of urgency that put their own safety aside.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner said: “He was a true American patriot and a true American hero … a dedicated public servant we will never forget.”
“Everything he did was for others,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “… Who among us would not want Conrad Gary to protect us.”
A procession led to Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, where there was a private burial service.
Article Org: wgntv.com