FENTON (WWJ) Fallen West Bloomfield police officer Patrick O’Rourke will be laid to rest Friday, undoubtedly escorted by thousands of mourners and just about every member of the thin blue line in southeast Michigan.
A funeral Mass was held at 10:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Fenton.
Burial will take place later in the day at Fenton’s St. John Cemetery for the officer who was killed by barricaded gunman Ricky Covey, reportedly distraught at a divorce and impending eviction from his home.
It was the end of his shift, but O’Rourke rushed to the domestic call, and was shot through the neck when a gunshot rang through a wall inside the home.
West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said O’Rourke, a 12-year veteran, was one of their best officers — one of the “rocks of the department.”
He was also a family man.
Judy Fisher of Farmington Hills first met Amy O’Rourke, Patrick O’Rourke’s wife, mother of his four young children — and a neonatal intensive care nurse -when her son was born prematurely 10 years ago. And Fisher has never forgotten Amy O’Rourke’s kindness.
That’s why Fisher joined hundreds of people waiting in line to pay respects to Amy’s husband. “She is really the angel that saved by son and for this to happen to such a wonderful person is just mind-boggling,” Fisher said.
Others, like Eric Jillback, waited in line to honor O’Rourke’s profession.
“Sometimes I think we take them for granted and we can’t take them for granted, this is a very unique profession and these guys need to be thanked every day that they do their job,” he said.
As the town anticipated a huge crowd, barrels and barricades were set up all around the church — with up to 5,000 people expected to attend the funeral.
Officers from neighboring departments are stepping in to patrol West Bloomfield on Friday, so all its officer can attend services.
“They’re all emotionally hurting right now, because they lost one of their best,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Anything he needs, from patrols, to support, we’re there.”