A steady stream of people came to Tacoma Police headquarters Thursday. They came to pay tribute to the officer who was shot to death Wednesday while responding to a domestic dispute.
Eric Bass laid a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers at the makeshift memorial beneath the headquarters sign. Then he took a step back, and saluted.
Eric Bass: “Just coming in to pay the respects. My brother’s law enforcement, and I’m military. So it hits home.”
Several minutes later, Chris Kerns’ three-year-old son Nolan gently added another bouquet to the growing pile.
Chris Kerns: “Just watching all that stuff last night just made me feel really sad. With everything going on in our society with police and the communities, this is one of those things that just puts all that to the side, and this is like a real issue where a police officer is just doing his job protecting some kids and it’s just unfortunate.”
Loretta Cool, Tacoma Police spokesperson: “I think that everybody’s on the verge of tears and about to break down.”
Cool said the outpouring of public support makes a big difference.
Cool: “As soon as they even heard that we had an officer injured they responded to the hospital to ask if there was anything they could do.”
Cool said she and her colleagues were deeply moved by the all-night candlelight vigil outside police headquarters.