GROVE CITY (KDKA) – The funeral for a fallen police officer is underway in Lawrence County.
Shenango Officer William Jerry McCarthy will be laid to rest this afternoon. He was killed last week in a car crash during a police chase.
Today, there was a massive outpouring of support from police officers around the area.
Police cars lined the entire length of the street outside of St. Vitus Church.
It was obvious that the family of Officer McCarthy were emotionally drained as they arrived for the service.
The district attorneys from Lawrence, Allegheny and Beaver counties as well as police officers from all over the region attended the service.
McCarthy and his partner, who is also in attendance, were responding to a chase when the pursued car slammed into the McCarthy’s car and killed him.
“We have a fallen brother. The badge went down and the thin blue line became a little bit thinner today and we are here as respect for the brother McCarthy as well as the family, as well as our living brothers here in law enforcement,” Beaver County Sheriff’s Department Capt. James McGeehan said.
Among those who paid tribute to the fallen officer at today’s service was his son Michael, whose words could be heard outside the church on loudspeakers to an overflow crowd.
“Dear dad, I’m sitting at the computer trying to write a speech to commemorate and celebrate your life,” he said trying to contain his emotions. “I just typed and deleted three separate speeches that seemed hollow and a bit generic.”
At times he tried to lighten the topic, seemingly to help himself cope.
“Weather’s pretty good down here,” he said. “Can you put a good word in with the big guy for some more sunshine? Have you seen great-grandma or great-grandpa yet?”
But later his message was heart wrenching.
“Grandma and grandpa couldn’t make it today,” he said. “This has been much too hard for them. I always felt bad about grandma losing her memory but as it turns out, it might be for the best. They will always be expecting you to walk through that door any minute. I guess God works in mysterious ways.”
Finally, he held back tears and read, “Just want to let you know I love you, man. Your son, Michael. God bless.”
As the procession made its way through Shenango Twp., a number of residents wore T-shirts honoring officer McCarthy.
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