The funeral of Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose, killed in the line of duty on Monday, was held Friday. Thousands gathered to pay their respects.
Bagpipes played as some 6,000 police officers from around New England gathered to honor Ambrose. The out-of-town officers gathered in formation at Saint Catherine’s Church, while members of Springfield’s police and fire departments marched from the funeral home to the church, serving as an honor guard for the body along the mile and a half long route.
Ambrose was shot and killed Monday while responding to a domestic dispute in the Sixteen Acres section of the city. The alleged shooter, Shawn Bryan of Hempstead, New York, also shot and wounded his girlfriend before fatally shooting himself. Colin Radford, a patrolman from Andover, Massachusetts, reflected on Ambrose’s sacrifice.
“It’s just sad that, I mean, the guy has to give his life for his job but its part of the oath we take. I mean, everybody knows it could happen every time you put the uniform on.”
Law enforcement officers from every state in New England were in attendance. In addition, people lined Parker Street, along the route the officers marched. Springfield resident Beth Hogan was among them, remarking on how many people came out.
“You know I think it just shows how the officers, the police officers and people, just put their lives on the line every day and by the amazing people that came out today, the number of people just to see that it makes a true difference in our city.”
After the funeral, Ambrose was buried at Hillcrest Cemetery, accompanied by a twenty-one gun salute.