A city in mourning

Photo credit – Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The streets are lined with black bows and wreaths have appeared in likely places throughout Pittsburgh as the citizens mourn the loss of three police officers. Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayle and Paul Sciullo were killed Saturday, April 4, 2009, while responding to a domestic disturbance call in the city’s Stanton Heights neighborhood.

Surely, these officers were not expecting to be ambushed on that early morning call. At the end of their shifts, they were probably looking forward to spending time with their families, having a bite to eat and maybe a little sleep. This was so senseless an act.

Eric Kelly, who lived in Stanton Heights, wasn’t on duty. He stopped to support fellow officers as they responded to the domestic disturbance call. Not enough good can be said for Officer Kelly.

Paul Sciullo was proud to be a police officer. A ceremony was held for him at Immaculate Conception in Bloomfield. “You may not know this, but I think you did. You were my hero long before April 4, 2009,” one of Sciullo’s many cousins said during the ceremony. Full coverage of the ceremony is here.

Stephen Mayle was just starting his life. He left a young family and a grieving hometown behind.

I would echo Chris Potter’s sentiment that “For my part, I wish the moment of silence had started earlier, and lasted longer. Because one of the countless sorrows here, I think, is that sorrow is all we have in common.” (Read the City Paper article) There have been too many, not just here in Pittsburgh but across the country, that have used this tragedy to further their own agendas.

So, a moment of silence for lives cut short. And for the everyday heroics that are performed by police here and everywhere.

A memorial fund has been set up for the officers’ families. The details can be found on the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.