CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago police department, hundreds strong, said goodbye on Monday to one of their own.
Chicago Police Officer Bernard Domagala was buried Monday with full honors. But as CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, his death is the result of a nearly three-decade-old wound.
Flanked by nine uniformed and stoic Chicago police officers who walk his same path in life, followed by his wife and three adults sons, it was time to say goodbye to Officer Bernard Domagala.
“Bernie was a great man, a true hero, a valient fighter, an inspiration to us all,” said Father Dan Brandt, Chicago Police Department.
The touching ceremony came nearly three decades after the 66-year-old Domagala was shot in the line of duty and seriously wounded.
It was July of 1988, and while responding to a Stoney Island standoff, Domagala peeked his head around a corner. In that instant he was shot in the head by a gunman with mental challenges. The injury required multiple surgeries and left him impaired for the rest of his life. His family was constantly by his side.
“He was a hell of a copper. Perhaps the greatest compliment to receive. He was the real police,” Brandt said.
Over the years, young officers on the force, many at the service, made a point of visiting Domagala for conversations about dedication to the badge and a commitment to service, no matter the cost.
“It was an inspiration to see him. To know he went through what he went through, he had those catastrophic injuries and he still took the time to speak to those officers,” said First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro.
“And he will never be forgotten.”
As they came together, it was a further sign the department stands together in life, service and in death.