Thousands mourn Officer Alain Schaberger

NYPD Officer Alain Schaberger was killed when a suspect allegedly pushed him over a railing, causing him to fall to his death on Sunday, March 13, 2011. (NYPD)

March 18, 2011 2:24:56 PM PDT
They came by the thousands for the funeral of one of two police officers killed in the line of duty last weekend.

The four walls of the Frederick J. Chapey and Sons Funeral Home couldn't contain the thousands of 8-point hats and white gloves lined up to honor fallen NYPD officer Alain Schaberger.

"So many things that he did. Just every cop out there just keeps telling me stories about everything he did for them personally," Dpty. Inspector Mark DiPaolo of the 84th Precinct said.

The navy and gold lined uniforms couldn't contain the grieving, fast beating hearts buttoned up inside of them.

"There's uniforms from all across this country to pay respects to this police officer, and not only that, but to his family, those that are left behind," Patrick J. Lynch, president of the NYC Patrolman's PBA, said.

Schaberger was killed last Sunday while responding to a domestic violence call.

George Villanueva was ordered without bail after his arraignment in Brooklyn.

Police say Villanueva had been ordered to stay away from his girlfriend, but she said he had threatened to kill her.

Villanueva allegedly pushed Schaberger over a railing, causing him to fall down a cement Stairwell and break his neck.

The incident happened hours after Nassau County Officer Geoffrey Breitkopf was fatally shot by an officer from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police after a bystander reportedly yelled "gun" at an incident in Massapequa Park. Breitkkopf was shot several minutes after Nassau officers fatally shot a knife-wielding disturbed man.

The confrontations, police say, show that no call is routine for any police officer because in an instant a mother can lose a son and a family loses their leader.

"It's a difficult time for the family, and the fiancée, but they're pulling through well," DiPaolo said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Raymond Kelly delivered eulogies. Kelly talked about Shaberger who was new recruit after 9-11, patrolling ground zero and Times Square.

"Alain's military bearing made him a natural for police work. So did his desire to serve a cause bigger than themselves," Kelly said.

"God bless the memory of Alain Schaberger, and God bless the many lives he touched," Mayor Bloomberg added.

Police union president Patrick Lynch said Schaberger made "the ultimate sacrifice" and urged a maximum penalty if Villanueva is convicted.

Villanueuva was indicted Friday on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated manslaughter in the first degree, aggravated manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated criminally negligent homicide, assault on a police officer, criminal contempt in the first degree, aggravated criminal contempt, and assault in the third degree. If convicted of the top charge, aggravated murder, he faces a maximum sentence of life without parole.

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