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Community Remembers Fallen Penn Hills Officer At Somber Vigil

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PENN HILLS (KDKA) — The Penn Hills community came together Thursday evening in a show of support and appreciation for police officers and other first responders.

The candlelight vigil marked the somber, third anniversary of the death of Officer Michael Crawshaw who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call.

“We have love for each other, respect and love for our police officers and the ones who serve our community,” Pastor Ken Love, of Penn Hills, said during the vigil.

Outside of the municipal building near the police memorial, people gathered in a show of gratitude and appreciation for their police department, including 32-year-old Officer Crawshaw.

He was fatally wounded in the line of duty in an ambush exactly three years ago.

“I was a friend of Michael Crawshaw’s, actually,” said Erin Gledhill, a friend who attended the vigil. “His best friend is a good friend of mine. We knew each other pretty well. He was just a wonderful, wonderful person, there’s not anything more that I can say.”

As the crowd gathered, hundreds of small candles were lit in front of the building with hand-written, heart-felt messages scribbled by children.

“We had 500 bags, and we divided them up among the elementary schools, the Girl Scouts, preschools, the YMCA after-school programs,” Heather Hoolihan, of the Penn Hills Community Renaissance Group.

The Penn Hills police chief said he was grateful for the community support the department has received over the years.

“The community has always been a diverse community,” said Chief Howard Burton. “We’ve always had the police department here, naturally, but the community has always been here for us.”

After a brief prayer of thanksgiving, police officers in the crowd were asked to step forward and were given a special blessing and that was followed by the playing of Taps

About 150 people attended the vigil.

RELATED LINKS:
Penn Hills Community Remembers Fallen Officer 3 Years After Fatal Shooting (12/6/12)
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