CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a sight seen far too often this year.
Chicago police officers, heads bowed, saying farewell to a beloved comrade killed in the line of duty.
Officer Conrad Gary was laid to rest Friday, one of two officers struck and killed by a South Shore train this week. Members of the community showed their support by lining the streets as the officer’s funeral procession passed by.
As the coffin carrying officer Conrad Gary arrived at St. Rita Chapel in a sea of blue, a grieving wife, baby and family wait to say goodbye.
The 31-year-old officer killed Monday while searching for a gunman was remembered as a hero.
“He embodied honor loyalty and integrity,” said Father Dan Brandt. The police chaplain had high praise for Gary, but pointed out no man is perfect.
“This proud South Side native did have one major character flaw, he was a die-hard cubs fan. Thankfully we have a merciful God,” Brandt said.
A light moment in an otherwise somber day, in which Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson once again told a grieving family that the city is forever in their debt.
“Kelly, we can’t comprehend the pain and loss you’re going thru right now. We’ll always be there for you,” Johnson said.
Following the funeral mass, officers escorted Gary’s wife from the church, one carrying baby Tess.
Then, in honor of Gary’s service in the U.S. Air Force, three volleys of shots and a tearful tribute from a 5th District colleague.
“An unbelievable guy. A plus,” said Mark Mayer. “His parents should be proud of the person he became.”
Chicago’s 5th District has lost five officers in one year alone.