KALAMAZOO (AP) — Hundreds of people have run or walked to remember a Kalamazoo police officer killed in the line of duty.

Later Saturday, officers, Eric Zapata’s family and others gathered at the Zapata Community Memorial. Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told the crowd to “thank God for our blessings.”

Zapata, known as “EZ,” died in a shootout five years ago, as he and other officers answered a report of shots fired. He was a Kalamazoo officer for 10 years and the first in the Kalamazoo department to be killed while on duty.

Zapata’s mother, Connie Bernal, says her son hasn’t been forgotten by the community he served. The annual run/walk to honor Zapata was held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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