COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department held a memorial service Tuesday for the officer killed in the line of duty Saturday night in a traffic accident.
The department held the service for Officer Stacy Case on at the Township Auditorium. Fellow officers joined Case's family and friends who flew in from Michigan for the service. Members of her squad met her family at the airport in Charlotte and escorted them to Columbia on Monday. Police Chief Skip Holbrook said it was difficult to tell Case's parents that their daughter had given the ultimate sacrifice.
"I had a lot of trepidation leading up to meeting them," Holbrook said. "I just found them to be very warm loving and, just like you would expect from parents and siblings, they're wonderful people. They're grieving with all of us today."
Officers from Tega Cay, Charleston and even other states were on hand to honor the fallen officer. Firefighters, deputies,state troopers, and soldiers were also on hand at Tuesday's memorial service. However, many members of the community made their way to Township Auditorium to pay their respects as well.
"I think it's a huge show of respect that our officers put their lives on the line everyday for us," Kristen Folding said. "We want to make sure the law enforcement community knows that we are grateful for what they do for us everyday."
Case was honored at the ceremony by Chief Holbrook and Mayor Steve Benjamin.
If there was a theme for her memorial service, it would be one of the peacemaker. Chief Holbrook called Officer Case the peacemaker with the warrior skill set.
Officer Case's pastor gave words of comfort, saying Case's main goals were to be a soldier and the police officer. She accomplished those goals and from many who knew her, they say she excelled at both.
"Officer Case was a person that showed up with a can-do attitude with the attitude of just as I can recall in roll call or whenever asked," Officer Henry Ford remembered. "Officer Case was the first to volunteer. She was not the one to wait until everyone was told to do it. She was the first do to it."
Case was killed when her patrol car crashed into a University of South Carolina Police Department patrol car at the intersection of College and Park streets. Both officers were headed to a call of shots fired at Gervais and Lincoln at about 10:13 p.m. Saturday.
Another common theme was Case's dedication. The night she was killed, Holbrook says Case was in the Vista on Assembly Street heading back from the jail after just making an arrest when she heard the shots fired call.
Funeral arrangements for Case, meanwhile, will be held in her hometown in Michigan.