ST. CLAIR SHORES (WWJ/AP) – Mourners are gathering to remember a Detroit police officer who died five days after being shot while chasing a suspect.
A funeral for 46-year-old Sgt. Ken Steil takes place Friday at St. Joan of Arc church in St. Clair Shores following visitation this week at a Sterling Heights funeral home. At the funeral home, ladders from two fire trucks displayed a large U.S. flag.
Steil, who had a wife and two sons, was an officer for 20 years and nicknamed “Shark” for his diving skills.
Men and women in blue from all across the country are expected to be in attendance. New York City Police Sgt. Ben Gilber at Detroit’s 9th Precinct early Friday morning.
“Cops have that strong bond and brotherhood. I drove 12 hours with no sleep, I got in at four o’clock in the morning, took a quick shower and changed into my dress uniform — and I’ll be here until the day is over with the blue family, and his wife and two kids,” said Gilber.
Steil was shot in the shoulder and died unexpectedly last Saturday of a blood clot. Marquise Cromer, 21, is charged with first-degree murder.
Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday in Steil’s honor. In addition, Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies will be honoring Sgt. Steil when the funeral starts at 11 a.m. All deputies in their will stop their patrol cars and turn on their lights and sirens for 15 seconds in memory of Steil. Sheriff Benny Napolean says Steil was devoted to his brothers and sisters in blue and losing him is a tremendous loss to everyone.
Meantime, Cromer has been referred for competency and criminal responsibility evaluations. His next hearing is set for Dec. 15. He has also been accused of shooting two other people, including his father.
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