EAST WASHINGTON (KDKA) – Members of a local community are mourning the loss of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty Sunday night.

Officer John David Dryer was a three-year veteran of the East Washington Police Department.

Calls offering help and sympathy are already pouring into the East Washington Police Department.

Officer Robert Caldwell was also wounded during a gunfight on Interstate 70 Sunday night.

Both officers were well-known and well-respected in the close-knit community.

Officers Dryer and Caldwell were among 15 part-time East Washington Police Department officers.

“They’ve been going through a lot of trials and tribulations lately and to have to have two officers from their police department, one killed and one injured, is a real tragedy,” Trooper Joe Christy said.

Trooper Christy had worked with Officer Dryer in the past.

“I personally did know him. He knew a lot of people in this area. He worked for various other municipal police departments throughout his law enforcement career. He was a very good and conscientious police officer that I was aware of. He was always willing to help out and did a good job. So, he’s going to be sorely missed,” Trooper Christy said.

Officer Dryer was a successful veterinarian in Washington County and always wanted to be a police officer.

Officer Caldwell is a retired State Trooper and both started working for the East Washington Police Department in 2010.

Retired police officer Bill Bryker said both were dedicated to the job.

“Both of them were a credit to their community. You hate to lose that,” Bryker said.

Just before noon, the flags outside the East Washington Police Department were lowered to half-staff.

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