Slain Ala. officer remembered for his 'servant's heart'

"He dedicated his life to the service of others. I owe it to be him to be worthy of his sacrifice.”

David Matthews
New York Daily News

KIMBERLY, Ala. — Family, friends, and colleagues gathered Monday to mourn Alabama police officer Nick O’Rear who was gunned down during a car chase on Feb. 4. The cop was expecting his third child in a few months.

O’Rear, 33, was assisting a neighboring town in a vehicle pursuit when he was killed in an “ambush,” according to Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock.

Preston Johnson, 37, was later taken into custody in connection with the fatal shooting.

O’Rear was a father of two, daughter Everlee and son Briar, and was expecting Weston, another son, in April, the mayor said.

More than 400 law enforcement officers from agencies and departments in Alabama and outside the state attended the funeral at the Gardendale (Ala.) First Baptist Church.

“He had a servant’s heart like someone I’ve never seen before. His legacy will not be forgotten," Duane Terpo, the father of O’Rear’s pregnant girlfriend, said, according to

His mischievous sense of humor" and “love for his fellow man was unmatched,” Kimberly Fire Rescue Capt. Robert Mashburn said during the ceremony.

O’Rear “dedicated his life to the service of others,” Mashburn said. “I owe it to be him to be worthy of his sacrifice.”

The slain officer was also certified as a sniper and a K9 training officer, Mashburn said.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey posted a remembrance of O’Rear on Twitter and attached a photo of him and his K9 Stella.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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