Final Farewell For Slain Police Officer
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CHICAGO (CBS) - A funeral was held Wednesday morning for a Chicago Police officer who was killed in the line of duty as he processed a burglary scene last week.
Officer Michael Flisk, 46, was shot and killed Friday afternoon in the alley behind the 8100 block of South Burnham Avenue, along with retired Chicago Housing Authority police Officer Stephen Peters, 44.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Mayor Richard M. Daley was among the mourners who attended Flisk’s funeral at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel, 7740 S. Western Ave.
Roads outside the church were gridlocked in all directions, as police officers from all over the state poured in to pay tribute to Flisk. The mournful sound of bagpipes filled the air on the lawn outside the church, as hundreds of Chicago Police officers honored their fallen brother.
Flisk’s daughter, Peg, rose before the mourners and presented a heartbreaking eulogy. She spoke of how her dad was there for all the family events–sports games, birthdays, holidays and more. She joked how he would dust for fingerprints to see which of his children used the last bit of peanut butter.
“Looking to the future, I cannot fathom the idea of his physical appearance not being there,” she said. “I hope from this day forward that no family has to experience this tragedy.”
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports
The police evidence technician was honored in outdoor ceremony before his funeral mass. He is the sixth Chicago Police officer to fall victim to violence this year.
Flisk was a 20-year veteran of the Police Department and a married father of four. He also has three siblings who are police officers.
Now, as the policeman’s prayer says, the other officers in Flisk’s family will continue to watch over the city while their brother guards the throne of God.
Officers also lauded the South Chicago community for helping police track down a suspect in the murders.
“For those in the community who came forward and assisted with the police with the investigation, we will be forever grateful for your courage,” said Chicago Police Officer Lori Cooper. “Your actions serve as an example to all, that unless we choose to stand up and make a difference, we will have more of these horrific tragedies.”
“Today is a day of mourning and a day of reflection upon the life of Michael Flisk,” said Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. “He was a terrific man. He had a terrific family, and we would ask the entire city to hold them in their prayers for the day.”
Mayor Daley and many other dignitaries were present as Flisk’s casket was brought into the sanctuary in a stirring ceremony.
Suspect Called Neighborhood Terrorist
Parolee Timothy Herring Jr., 19, has been charged with the murders. Police Supt. Jody Weis describes Herring as a neighborhood terrorist.
Investigators are still looking for the murder weapon.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports.
Flisk, an evidence technician, was processing a burglary scene in a garage when Herring allegedly walked up and told them he knew who had committed the burglary.
Prosecutors say after Peters told Herring they had fingerprints, Herring walked away, then turned around, pulled out a gun and shot them both in the head.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says he didn’t stop there.
“He shot them once, and then noticed that Mr. Peters was still moving and went back up and shot Mr. Peters again, and shot Officer Flisk again,” Alvarez said Tuesday. “There’s evidence of close range fire.”
Alvarez says over the next 24 hours, as cops canvassed the area, Herring put the gun, his recently cut braids and his coat in a box, and eventually passed it over to the second suspect: Timothy Willis, 22. Willis was charged Monday with obstruction of justice and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Herring was on parole at the time he allegedly committed the crime, and just five months ago was considered the prime suspect in another shooting.
Herring was also sentenced to six years behind bars for an armed robbery in 2007 but was released in April on parole. He was locked up again in July after testing positive for marijuana, according to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sharyn Elman.
Now, some police officers are already calling on prosecutors to pursue the death penalty for Herring.
Calling Herring “cold-blooded,” the anonymous Chicago Police officer behind the Second City Cop blog wrote, “Society needs to be just as cold blooded in this case and pursue the death penalty in no uncertain terms. Anything else is insult piled upon injury.”