HANOVER (CBS) – Family, members of the community and thousands of police officers from across the country gathered to pay their respects to Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna at a wake Thursday afternoon.
Chesna was shot and killed with his own gun on Sunday while responding to a single-car crash. Police say 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes threw a rock at Chesna, stole his weapon and killed the veteran officer along with Vera Adams, who was targeted while standing at the sliding door of her home.
Some wore the Weymouth patch alongside him; others never met Sgt. Chesna, but the men and women in blue who lined the streets in Hanover Thursday, are his brothers and sisters just the same.
“The amount of officers that are here, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter where you work, we’re all the same, we’re all blue, it’s the brotherhood and in these tragic times we’ll all be there for one another,” Marshfield Police Chief Phil Tavares said. “And no one will ever take that away from us.”
The fallen hero, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, built a career deeply rooted in service, but his most important role was really just beginning: being dad to two young children.
“It breaks my heart,” said Easton Police Chief Gary Sullivan. “I feel terrible for Mrs. Chesna and her family, the children that will never see their dad again. It’s awful.”
Sgt. Chesna was just one hour away from returning home to his family Sunday, when he was shot and killed. It’s that painful reality — there is no ‘routine call’ — weighing heavily on the moms and dads behind the badge, here to pay their respects.
“It is a dangerous job,” Chief Sullivan said. “I’m the chief now, but similar to a parent you worry about the officers that work with you that are out on the street every day, just like you would your own children.”
The public and officers from around the region participated in a procession Thursday morning as Chesna’s body was brought from the funeral home in South Weymouth to St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Church in Hanover.
First responders lined the street, saluting as the hearse carrying Chesna’s body passed by.
Thousands of officers paid their respects to Chesna during a private walk-through in advance of the public wake.
Chesna’s funeral will be held on Friday at 11 a.m., also inside St. Mary of Sacred Heart Church.
Traffic is expected to be “extremely heavy” around the time of Chesna’s services Friday.
Hanover Street will be closed and detoured between Silver Street and Rockland Street Friday starting at 9 a.m. Detours will last until 2 p.m. on Friday.