More than 3,000 law enforcement officers and first responders lined the streets surrounding St. Mary’s Church in Hanover, Massachusetts, to pay their respects to slain Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna on Thursday.
The stream of blue started to form hours before the wake started at 4 p.m., with police traveling from near and far to pay respects to one of their own.
"It's not just Massachusetts, it's across the country, even different countries. From Canada to Puerto Rico, overseas in Europe. We all support each other," said one officer.
Hanover resident Tammy Cirafice came to show her support.
"It's a big, big support that they could use right now the community and the family, as well as all of our officers, risking their lives every day you know it's a tragedy," Cirafice said.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and Patriots owner Robert Kraft also came to Hanover to pay their respects.
Chesna, who was 42-years-old, is survived by a wife, a 9-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son.
"It breaks my heart and I feel terrible for Mrs. Chesna and her family and children who will never see their dad again," Easton Police Chief Gary Sullivan said.
"All I can think of, and I'm sure they think of it all the time, is 'Am I gonna see him tonight, am I gonna see him after his shift is over?'" said Weymouth resident Beverly Curro.
Chesna's police cruiser was parked by the entrance to the church.
Weymouth police officers will stand vigil by the casket throughout the night prior to the funeral on Friday at 11 a.m.
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.
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.