By Bob Allen

CANONSBURG (KDKA) — Canonsburg Police Officer Scott Bashioum was scheduled to join veterans and first responders in a service of appreciation and remembrance at the Church of the Covenant in Washington, where he was a member.

Instead, his police dress hat was left in a chair draped with a black ribbon in his memory. Bashioum died Thursday at Canonsburg Hospital after he was ambushed while responding to a domestic violence call. Pastor Stuart Broberg remembers the Bible verse he whispered to Bashioum’s wife in the emergency room.

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“Gospel of John, ‘greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’ and I whispered that in her ear and it helped her,” Broberg said.

Bashioum was a veteran who became a police officer. Retired U.S. Marine Major General Steve Johnson thanked him and others for their service.

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“The police, the firefighters, emergency service technicians, they all know the dangers that are out there waiting for them and they go out there and do them because they’re committed to the community, they’re committed to the people they serve with,” Major General Johnson said.

On Wednesday, more than 1,000 police officers will join family and friends for Officer Bashioum’s funeral.

“One of the greatest guys you would ever want to meet, a person of integrity, a man of faith, a family man, loved his church, loved being a police officer,” Broberg said.

No one knows why Michael Cwiklinski killed officer Bashioum and wounded fellow officer James Saieva before turning the gun on himself and his pregnant wife. Pastor Broberg wants to know why.

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“One day, I plan to ask the Lord this: Why on that Thursday did you take this wonderful man in this way?”