Thousands attend funeral for fallen officer Dennis Guerra

Tim Fleischer reports on funeral for NYPD officer Dennis Guerra who died from injuries sustained in a Coney Island fire.
April 14, 2014 3:27:17 PM PDT
In a slow moving procession that stretched for blocks in Rockaway Beach, the NYPD brought fallen police officer Dennis Guerra and his family through a sea of officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder to a final tribute to a man they called a hero.

"He ran into a building to rescue people, and then the worst that could happen, happened to him," PBA President Pat Lynch said.

Officer Guerra along and his partner Rosa Rodriguez, who remains in critical condition, were overcome by smoke and fumes as they answered a 911 call of a fire in the hallway of a city owned building in Coney Island.

During the service, their bravery was remembered by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We'll always remember with sorrow how Dennis left us that day, but we'll also remember with pride the example of valor and devotion to duty that he set," de Blasio said.

He also carried on a tradition as a NYPD officer following his father and uncle onto the force.

"He was a senior officer who was very respectful and responsible. He acted with dignity and he wore the uniform with honor and pride," Deputy Inspector Carlos Valdez said.

His brother-in-law Curtis Mitchell remembered his devotion to family.

"He was recently called a hero, but to all of his family Dennis was always a hero. And long before he will continue to live on in our hearts and memories as such," Mitchell said.

Honored one last time, as his coffin was carried from the church, a precision flyover, by the department's aviation unit.