CHICAGO (CBS) — For the second night hundreds of mourners lined up at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home to say goodbye, this time to fallen Officer Eduardo Marmolejo.
While the wait is long and familiar to some, Ald. Matthew O’Shea said that doesn’t make it any easier.
“This has been so difficult, not only on the families but the men and women of the Chicago Police Department,” O’Shea said. “Many have been out here all night yesterday, at the funeral today.
The wake inside the funeral home honored Marmolejo’s memory. He was one of two officers Monday who chased after a man prosecutors say found a gun and tested it out, firing it on a stretch of Rosemoor train tracks. Both officers died instantly when they were hit by a South Shore train while in pursuit.
Hours earlier the flag-draped coffin carrying Officer Conrad Gary arrived at St. Rita Shrine Chapel. His wife, baby of only six months, and family honored and grief his loss.
Police Chaplain Father Dan Brandt had high praise for Gary.
“He embodied honor, loyalty and integrity,” he said.
Fellow officers said he was known for his smile and his work ethic.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Gary died a hero, protecting the citizens of Chicago. He also thanked his family for sharing him with the police force.
“Kelly, we can’t comprehend the pain and loss you’re going through right now,” Johnson said. “We’ll always be there for you.”
In honor of Gary’s service in the U.S. Air Force, mourners saw a three-volley salute and heard a tearful tribute from a colleague.
“An unbelievable guy, A++. His parents should be proud of the person he became,” Officer Mark Mayer said.
Gary wanted to be a police officer for most of his life. Tragically, he was only able to serve 18 months.
Marmolejo was on the force for more than two years.