While New York City mourned the loss of police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday morning, another police funeral was taking place 1,100 miles away: the funeral of Charles Kondek, the Tarpon Springs, Florida, police officer and NYPD veteran who was fatally shot in the early morning hours of Dec. 21.
Kondek's youngest daughter, Aleena, told the assembled crowd she'd once asked her dad what he had wanted to grow up to be when he was a little boy.
"He said, 'A police officer, just like my dad,'" she said. "That made me smile because he was doing what he always wanted to do."
Thousands of law enforcement officers gathered at Idlewild Baptist Church to honor Kondek, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A view from the service for Tarpon Springs Police Department's Officer Charles Kondek who died in the line of dut... pic.twitter.com/E8KVvjssUH— Fort Myers Police (@fortmyerspolice) December 27, 2014
"He loved us hard," Aleena said. "He went without to give us everything."
Kondek, a father of six, was the first police officer to be fatally shot in the town in nearly 100 years.
"Charlie was taken from us," said Sgt. Michael Trill, "but I am here to tell you today he left as a warrior."
Kondek died exchanging gunfire with a convicted felon who was fleeing arrest, the Times noted.
The funeral service ended with another passing: that of Kondek's call sign.
A dispatcher broadcast the "final call" for Kondek's police radio call sign — "285" — a call sign which is now officially retired, the Times reported.
See video from the service below:
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