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Community pays final respects to Officer Hetland

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 20:18:27-04

MOUNT PLEASANT — The crowd went silent as the procession for Officer John Hetland made its way to West Lawn Memorial Park.

It was the final destination for the veteran Racine police officer.

Along the route, there were countless American flags, signs, families and heavy hearts.

"It just hurts us all," said Breana Bowen-Langdon. "It’s tragic and thoughtless. And he did such a heroic thing, so I’m honored to be a part of this community to have officers like him defending us."

For Sheryl Villalpando, the loss hits close to home. Her husband is a Racine firefighter.

She brought her grandkids and a blue line flag she bought after Officer Hetland was killed. Villalpando said the flag has be flying at half mass outside their home.

"It’s wonderful to see everybody come out and support and understand, but it’s just really, really sad really sad and tragic," she said.

Officer Hetland was shot and killed while trying to stop an armed robbery at a Racine bar. He was off-duty at the time. The search for his killer is ongoing.