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Mo. Capitol Dome to shine blue for fallen law enforcement officers; candlelight vigil and memorial service scheduled

Missourians are filing dozens of initiative petitions for the upcoming 2020 general election,...
Missourians are filing dozens of initiative petitions for the upcoming 2020 general election, but a state senator wants to add upfront costs and raise the standards for each proposal to get on the ballot.(Submitted)
Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 11:22 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - In honor of Missouri’s fallen law enforcement officers, Governor Mike Parson ordered the Missouri State Capitol dome and Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial to be lit blue on Friday, April 30.

“This Friday, we will light the Capitol blue in honor of all the officers who paid the ultimate price to protect their fellow Missourians and make our communities safer,” said Governor Parson. “We will never forget those who have fallen, their courageous service, and their families and loved ones.”

Organizers of the annual Missouri Law Enforcement Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Service will hold ceremonies on April 30 and May 1.

The Candlelight Vigil will be held at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the north side of the State Capitol at approximately 8 p.m. on April 30.

The memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. on May 1.

“This year, our in-person memorial services remind us, once again, of the importance of seeing our comrades and sharing memories of those we lost and the lessons they taught us about selfless service,” said Sandy Karsten, director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety. “The blue light is a fitting tribute and reminds the community of the sacrifices paid by those who take an oath to protect us.”

The names of eight law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during 2020 were added to the memorial’s Wall of Honor before the ceremonies, as well as eight historical names whose line of duty deaths were confirmed through recent research.

2020 Line of Duty Deaths

  • Christopher Ryan Walsh – On March 16, 2020, Springfield Police Department Officer Christopher Ryan Walsh was shot and killed when he and another officer confronted an active shooter at a convenience store.
  • Andy Deric Clark – On June 3, 2020, DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Deric Clark was killed in a vehicle crash near Osborn, Mo. while responding to assist a deputy in an emergency situation.
  • Tamarris L. Bohannon – On Aug. 29, 2020, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Tamarris L. Bohannon was mortally wounded when he and another officer were ambushed responding to a shooting calling in the Tower Grove South neighborhood. He succumbed to his wound the next day.
  • Rick A. Groves – On Oct. 16, 2020, Kennett Police Department Assistant Chief Rick A. Groves died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his law enforcement service.
  • Richard Allen Wright – On Nov. 19, 2020, Missouri Department of Corrections Officer Richard Allen Wright died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his service as a corrections officer.
  • Dwight Eugene Willis – On Nov. 22, 2020, Greene County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Dwight Eugene Willis died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his service as a detention officer.
  • Herschel Turner Jr. – On Dec. 5, 2020, Moline Acres Police Department Sergeant Herschel Turner Jr. and another officer had stopped a stolen vehicle when Sergeant Turner was fatally struck by the vehicle of another officer arriving at the scene to provide assistance.
  • Kendle Glen Blackburn – On Dec. 28, 2020, Lebanon Police Department Patrolman Kendle Glen Blackburn died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his law enforcement service.

Recently Confirmed Historical Line-of-Duty Deaths

  • Albert Kopf – On Sept. 3, 1907, City of Pacific Marshal Albert Kopf succumbed to his wounds after being shot three days earlier by a homeless man after Kopf had responded to a call from a woman about a disturbance at the woman’s home.
  • John W. Burns – On April 21, 1922, City of Lathrop Marshal John W. Burns died after being shot in a gun battle with five men, who had attempted to rob him at gunpoint as he performed his duties.
  • William E. Griffin – On June 10, 1923, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Patrolman William E. Griffin was shot and killed responding to an armed robbery at the Telegraph Inn, which was located in St. Louis County.
  • David W. Waymire – On March 13, 1927, City of Crane Marshal David W. Waymire died as a result of wounds suffered after being shot by a man wanted for auto theft whom he had attempted to arrest two miles west of Crane days earlier.
  • S. Dent Owen – On Jan. 3, 1929, Monroe City Marshal S. Dent Owen died from injuries suffered in a head-on collision on Highway 36 while driving a vehicle that had been stolen and that he had recovered during an investigation.
  • James E. Tines – On Sept. 9, 1933, St. Louis – San Francisco Railway Police Special Agent James E. Tines was fatally wounded in an armed robbery while on duty near Springfield.
  • Herman E. Weirich – On Feb. 12, 1946, City of Sullivan Marshal Herman E. Weirich died, four days after the vehicle he was traveling in while on duty was struck by a train.

The families of the fallen and representatives of law enforcement agencies from across Missouri will participate in Saturday’s ceremony.

Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe and Attorney General Eric Schmitt will deliver remarks at the ceremony.

A virtual ceremony was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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