A young police officer gunned down in the line of duty was mourned by family, friends and fellow officers on a gloomy and rainy Monday in Alabama.
Kimberly police officer Nick O'Rear was helping a neighboring community with a car chase on Feb. 4 when he was "ambushed" and shot, said Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock. A suspect was taken into custody.
O'Rear was a father of two and has a third child on the way, the mayor said. He has a son due in April, according to a GoFundMe set up for his girlfriend and the baby.
O'Rear was one of the "most unique individuals you'd ever meet," and his "mischievous sense of humor" and "love for his fellow man was unmatched," Kimberly Fire Rescue Capt. Robert Mashburn said at Monday's funeral in Gardendale, Alabama.
O'Rear came to Kimberly in 2019 and "jumped in with both feet" and "became part of the family from day one," Mashburn said.
"Nick always made himself available to not only the city of Kimberly but to all surrounding municipalities," he said.
O'Rear wanted to become a certified sniper, which he accomplished in November, Mashburn said.
He also aspired to become a K9 training officer, which he certified for in December. With Stella, his K9, it was "love at first site, and Nick worked tirelessly with her training," Mashburn said.
"There's some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains," Mashburn said.
O'Rear "dedicated his life to the service of others," Mashburn said. "I owe it to be him to be worthy of his sacrifice."
Alabama Gov. tweeted Monday, "On this somber day, we remember the life of Kimberly Police Officer Nick O’Rear. We will lift his loved ones, comrades & the city of Kimberly in prayer, as Officer O’Rear is laid to rest."