Injured McKeesport Officer Chuck Thomas attends tribute to fallen Officer Sean Sluganski

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Hundreds of people gathered for a vigil at Renzie Park in McKeesport Wednesday evening to pay tribute to fallen Police Officer Sean Sluganski.

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Sluganski was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday. His partner, Officer Chuck Thomas, was injured in the shooting.

Officer Thomas stood with the crowd to pay tribute to his partner.

“The resilience of our community and the members is second to none in my mind,” said McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko.

Community members came together to pray, light candles and mourn Officer Sluganski’s passing.

“Officer Sluganski loved what he did, loved his community, never wanted to be anywhere else,” said Cherepko.

As part of the vigil, the entire McKeesport Police Department was recognized and thanked.

“We’re trying to show the police department that we have their backs,” said vigil organizer Jeff Anderson.

Among the officers recognized was Officer Thomas, who was cheered and celebrated as he recovers from being shot.

“It was nothing less than miraculous to be shot in the face and come out of the neck, and to be home from the hospital that night, it’s truly a miracle,” said Cherepko.

Right now, McKeesport officers are off the streets, grieving Officer Sluganski and supporting Officer Thomas in his recovery.

The Sheriff’s Office as well as Allegheny County and State Police are handling their patrols until after Sluganski’s funeral next week.

“It’s tough. You guys can’t imagine what we’re going through right now and we’re still trying to get through it ourselves,” said McKeesport Police Chief Adam Alfer.

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