Thousands of police officers lined the streets Thursday for the wake of slain Weymouth Sgt. Michael Chesna, who was killed Sunday after a man allegedly opened fire on him with the officer’s own gun.
A sea of blue gathered outside St. Mary’s Church in Hanover, Massachusetts to pay their respects.
Chesna, who was posthumously promoted to sergeant, is remembered for being a huge sports fan and a devoted father. The fallen sergeant was also a U.S. Army combat veteran.
The wake took place from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at the same location.
In honor of Chesna’s memory, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation changed the lights of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge to blue Wednesday, while other recognizable structures in the city also changed colors in solidarity. Mourners have been offering their condolences by visiting the Weymouth Police Department, where a growing memorial is just outside.
Chesna leaves behind his wife, a 9-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. A GoFundMe page for his family has been set up by the Weymouth Police Patrolman's Union for community members wishing to support his loved ones.
"I appreciate everyone saying that everything will be OK, but it isn't going to be OK for us," Chesna’s brother-in-law, Joe Comperchio said Wednesday.
Chesna responded to a report of an erratic driver and a crashed vehicle on Sunday when 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes allegedly threw a large rock at his head. Lopes then allegedly grabbed Chesna's gun and shot him approximately 10 times.
As he was being chased by responding officer, Lopes allegedly shot and killed an innocent bystander, 77-year-old Vera Adams, as she stood in her home's sunroom. Lopes was shot in the leg during the confrontation, and has been hospitalized since then, only venturing to court to plead not guilty to two first-degree murder charges on Tuesday.
Services for Adams have not been finalized.