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More Than 1,000 People Pay Their Respects to Slain Ind. Officer


December 17, 2003
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More Than 1,000 People Pay Their Respects to Slain Ind. Officer

BY TOM COYNE, The Associated Press

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) -- More than 1,000 people, including about 500 police officers, and firefighters paid final respects Wednesday to Cpl. Thomas Roberts, one of two Mishawaka policemen who was gunned down trying to make an arrest.

Bishop John D'Arcy presided over the Mass at St. Monica Catholic Church, where Roberts worshipped and had attended school.

Roberts and Patrolman Bryan S. Verkler suffered fatal gunshot wounds while trying to arrest a shooting suspect early Saturday. They were the first Mishawaka police officers to die in the line of duty in more than 73 years.

D'Arcy called Roberts and Verkler "sentinels of safety who put themselves between evil and the citizens of Mishawka."

The men were called heroes by Mayor Robert Beutter and Police Chief Matthew Weber.

After the service, officers lined up in front of the church as students from the parish elementary school stood carrying small American flags.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Roberts, 43, the father of two adult children, grew up less than a mile from where he was killed. He was a 14-year veteran of the Mishawaka police.



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