NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - Fallen New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw was laid to rest Wednesday as hundreds of fellow police officers from across the country showed support for their brother and his family.
People lined the streets leading from Rusiewicz Funeral Home to Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in New Kensington, where Shaw’s funeral procession was met by a sea of law enforcement.
The outpouring of support continued as Shaw was taken to his final resting place at Greenwood Cemetery.
Farewell to Fallen Officer Brian Shaw
Inside the church, it was a personable, touching service that spoke to his calling of being a police officer.
The soft sounds of Ava Maria filled Mount Saint Peter Parish this morning as family friends and colleagues filled the pews to say goodbye to Officer Brian Shaw.
"Brian knew just as all men and women in blue know that their lives might be demanded from them, it comes with the territory,” said Bishop Edward Malesic.
Bishop Malesic said being a police officer was more than a job to officer Shaw -- it was a calling.
"He could look at himself in the mirror dresses in his uniform wearing his officer's badge and said this, this is my purpose, every day was a joy for him because he did what he was made to do,” said Malesic.
Police chiefs from Frazer and New Kensington spoke words of remembrance, sharing their fondest memories of Brian.
"To say that Brian had an impact on our department in a short time, is an understatement... just ask the front end of my police car,” said New Kensington police Chief James Klein, followed by laughter.
For those who knew him best, today was a way to not only say good bye, but to honor him and remember him, always.
"But to say goodbye is to let him go I promise you we will never let him go. He will forever be a part of me, the New Kensington Police Department and the many other lives he has touched during his young life,” Klein said.
In his short time on the job he made an unforgettable impression on his superiors and his colleagues, who say his memory and his sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"Your shift here on earth is done. Heaven is calling. Your brothers here at the New Kensington Police Department will continue to fight the good fight, knowing your with us as our backup, guardians from above, until we meet again my friend,” Klein said.
Outpouring of support around the country
The outpouring of support Wednesday was incredibly moving.
Police officers, total strangers from all over came to pay their respects.
A woman and a little girl holding that handmade sign reading "God Bless Officer Shaw".
As the community of New Kensingston mourns the death of Officer Brian Shaw, they don't mourn alone.
More than a thousand police officers, state police, county deputies, from Pennsylvania and across the country showed up to honor a fallen hero.
Officers from Maryland, West Virginia and as far as Colorado joined those from agencies closer to home to line up on the streets of New Kensington in solidarity.
"It's a brotherhood it's very very tight we're all considered family, no matter what country or county you're still a brother,” said Chad Webster of the Morgantown PD.
Chicago police officer Chris Stark drove eight hours overnight.
He belongs to the brotherhood for the falling, a group of officers out of Chicago that attend every single in the line of duty death.
“We try to make every funeral as many as they are we go to all of them and we give a monetary donation to the family,” Stark said.
Officers say today's show of support is also a sign for the family that they will never be alone in their time of need.
While the funeral may be over the investigation into officer Shaw’s death continues.
They carried flags and flags were handed out along the route to wave as Officer Shaw’s procession moved through.
Some community members remembered the death of Officer Derek Kotecki a few years ago and said they hope they'll never have to attend an event like this again.
Shaw’s police car was included in the funeral procession.
The funeral and procession for Officer Shaw was very emotional.
Long lines of fellow officers and community members started saying their final farewells during funeral home visitations on Monday and Tuesday.
"Brian is bringing together our community in his loss. It's very sad," said Cole Taylor of Lower Burrell. "Brian always wanted to do good by the community and always wanted to give back."
Police officers, firefighters strangers and friends came to pay their respects to Officer Brian Shaw.
“He will always be remembered for his charismatic, outgoing personality and addictive smile,” Shaw’s obituary says. “He enjoyed working out, soccer, football, hunting, playing with his dogs Satie Mae and Gus and was a fan of all sports.”
Shaw’s police car, draped in black, sat outside the funeral home during visitation. It was included in the funeral processions.
The final call for Officer Shaw played over the police scanner Tuesday night.
Fallen Officer Brian Shaw
Shaw was from Lower Burrell and graduated from Burrell High School in 2010. He then attended Slippery Rock University, where he was the football team’s place kicker for four years.
Shaw graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2013 and from the Allegheny County Police Training Academy in 2014.
What we know about fallen Officer Brian Shaw
A memorial fund has been set up for Officer Shaw. You can donate by going to any First National Bank or sending a check to:
First National Bank
c/o Officer Brian Shaw Memorial Fun
110 Burrell Plaza
Lower Burrell, PA 15068
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