Pop singer Taylor Swift donated free concert tickets to first responders and loved ones who are mourning the murder of a Massachusetts police officer.
A suspect shot and killed Sgt. Michael Chesna in the line of duty and also fired a stray bullet that killed a 77-year-old widow, Vera Adams, in her home on July 15.
What was the gesture?
Robert Hedlund, mayor of Weymouth, said Swift offered a "significant" number of tickets to the town, which were handed out to local police officers and firefighters, including those in the neighboring towns of Quincy and Hingham.
“My understanding is that they did it low-key and weren’t looking for publicity,” Hedlund told the Patriot Ledger. “There were enough to send every police officer, firefighter and extended family to the concert, and then some.”
In the report, Hedlund thanked Swift on behalf of the town.
“The gesture was absolutely generous, significant and appreciated,” he said.
The tickets were for Swift’s concert on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Chesna was killed after he and other officers responded to the scene of a suspect who had crashed his car and fled on foot. During a confrontation with police, Emanuel “Manny” Lopes allegedly grabbed Chesna’s gun, shot him in the head and chest and ran from the scene.
During a foot chase with other officers, Lopes allegedly fired several more shots. In the process, he shot Adams, who was sitting in a sun room in her home.
Chesna, a 6-year veteran of the police department, was about to end his midnight to 8 a.m. shift.
How was Chesna remembered?
Thousands of police officers turned out to pay respects at Chesna’s funeral mass at Mary of the Sacred Heart in Hanover, the community where he had lived with his family.
"Mike, you're my hero, and I'm truly honored to have known you personally and professionally," Joseph Comperchio, Chesna's brother-in-law and a Weymouth police captain, said during the funeral service. "We love you, and we will miss you."
Friends, relatives and Weymouth police officers, political dignitaries and others filled the church, as thousands of police officers from departments across the country stood at attention outside, the Associated Press reported.
Comperchio read a letter from Chesna's wife, Cynthia Chesna, which stated:
I would like to tell you that I love you more than anything in this world and that you are my best friend and best dad the kids could ever have. I will make sure the kids know how great you are and how fortunate I was to have you in my life.
Comperchio told Chesna's wife and children, Olivia, 9, and Jack, 4: "The members of the Weymouth Police Department are your family, and you will never be alone."
Chesna, 42, was a Purple Heart recipient who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to reports. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant.
Chesna joined the U.S. Army following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He did so partly to bring him closer to his childhood goal of becoming a police officer.