PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been five years since three Pittsburgh Police officers were killed while responding to a domestic call on Fairfield Street in Stanton Heights.
On Friday, many gathered to remember Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo on the anniversary of their deaths.
The parking lot at Zone 5 served as the scene for a special gathering. Media was kept at a distance so that law enforcement and the families of the victims could spend the early morning hours placing wreaths at a memorial.
Many were there at 7 a.m. – the same hour that the domestic call was made to 911 in Stanton Heights, a call that would end in tragedy.
The officers who now man Zone 5 took a blue carnation and placed them at the Zone 5 memorial.
Some of the younger officers weren’t even on the force at the time of the tragedy, but Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson, who was on the scene that day, says it’s still a relevant day for police.
“Well, I don’t know if there will ever be complete closure from this, but it serves as a reminder to us both on a personal basis and a professional basis,” Donaldson said. “We realize on a daily basis, the dangers that our police officers face and sometimes we do get complacent and that in and of itself is a grave danger.”
Later, there was a more public ceremony at St. Maria Goretti Church in Bloomfield. That’s the home church of fallen Officer Sciullo and his parents.
“We lost a son, but we gained a family in the Pittsburgh Police,” said Paul Sciullo, Sr.
Officer Kelly’s nephew, who was born on the fallen officer’s birthday, is now 2-years-old. He never knew his uncle.
He was a source of comfort for the officer’s mother, who finds little comfort now that an appeal hearing is coming up for the man convicted of the shooting.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Francis Kelly. “I mean, it’s so much that we talk about, but we suffer so much and everything, and now this thing coming up Wednesday is even worse. We didn’t have any idea this appeal was coming up so fast.”
But as hard as this day was, the families found solace in the support of so many friends.
“As the mother of a fallen police officer myself, I certainly feel their pain and my heart goes out to all of the families of Paul, and Eric and Stephen,” said Linda Crawshaw, the mother of fallen Penn Hills Police Officer Michael Crawshaw.