PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It has been 10 years since three Pittsburgh Police officers were ambushed and killed by a gunman during a domestic dispute in Stanton Heights.READ MORE: Police Seek Hit-And-Run Suspect Accused Of Hitting Shelter Worker
Officers Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle were shot while responding to a domestic disturbance on the morning of April 4, 2009.
“It hurts. It hurts us 10 years later,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.
A fallen heroes’ memorial service was held at the Pittsburgh Police Zone Five police station Thursday morning.
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A call went out over the police radio just before the service began to remember Kelly, Sciullo and Mayhle’s ultimate sacrifice to the city.
Officers in attendance wore black bands over their badges.
Officer Kelly’s niece, Jene Meyers, said it still hurts like it happened yesterday.
“We really miss Eric,” said Meyers. “He was definitely a good man, a great uncle, a great dad, a great granddad.”
Kelly tried to save his fellow officers even though his shift was over.READ MORE: Community Helping 30 Families Who Lost Apartments In Penn Hills Fire
“He thought about somebody else besides himself and took it upon himself to go around the corner and help his fellow officers,” said Meyers.
During the memorial service, blue carnations were placed by each officer’s memorial in front of Zone 5. Blue symbolizes law enforcement.
Watch Ralph Iannotti’s report —
“We’re so proud of them and we’re so proud of their families for being part of our family. They’re the ones that have gotten us through this. Their strength from the beginning until now and they’ll forever be a part of our family,” said Schubert.
“I’ve always encouraged the public. You see a police officer, firefighter or paramedic. Thank them for what they do,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
Thanking these men is exactly what the community did Thursday morning, for paying the ultimate sacrifice. It’s a reminder of the risks men and women in uniform take everyday just by going to work.
“We recognize the inherent dangers of what we do, but we throw that to the side because we’re here to protect people. We’re here to help people. We’re here to serve people,” said Schubert.
The gunman, Richard Poplawski, was convicted and sentenced to death.MORE NEWS: WHO Reports Rise Of Omicron 'Stealth Variant'
However, he remains on death row since Gov. Tom Wolf placed a moratorium on the death penalty.