Family, community honor slain Mass. officer
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—A Springfield police officer killed in the line of duty earlier this week was remembered Friday at his funeral attended by thousands of mourners as a family man of faith.
Thousands of police officers from across the nation, hundreds of his own colleagues, and dignitaries including U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal gathered in and around St. Catherine of Siena Church for the funeral of Officer Kevin Ambrose.
"Kevin's life and his charismatic personality and charm touched the hearts of all of us here today and so many other people that he encountered over the years. Kevin's energy and spirit fills this church and all of our hearts this morning," the Rev. Joseph Sorrano, Ambrose's pastor from St. Cecilia's Parish in Wilbraham, said in the homily.
He later added: "Kevin built his life and reputation on five important pillars: faith, family, friends, service and fun. In each of those areas, he was a success."
Ambrose's casket was decorated with green flowers in the shape of his No. 7 badge.
An estimated 6,000 officers from around the country marched to the church, with hundreds of residents waving U.S. flags lining the route.
The pews inside the church were packed, while hundreds of mourners watched outside on a giant screen.
Ambrose, a 36-year department veteran, was shot Monday when he answered a 911 call from a woman who said she feared for her life after a dispute with her ex-boyfriend. Police said Shawn Bryan, a New York City prison guard, killed Ambrose, critically wounded Charlene Mitchell and then killed himself.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Carla, as well as two children and a grandchild.