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Officers gather to honor one of their own

(KWMU photo)
University City police officers carry Sgt. Michael King's casket from the First Presbyterian Church of St. Louis

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Officers from dozens of municipalities across the St. Louis area gathered in University City this morning to pay their respects to a fellow officer killed in the line of duty.

The St. Louis County Pipe and Drum Band played as University City police officers carried the casket of Sergeant Michael King to the waiting hearse.

King was shot and killed while on patrol Halloween night. The U-City native had been on the force for 25 years.

"Growing up here, attending U-City High School, attending Wash-U, still living here through all of that, this is the profession that he wanted, and this is what he did so well," Rev. Michael Boehm, the department's chaplain, said.

The Rev. Ann Pitman is the interim pastor at First Presbyterian Church of St. Louis, the site of the funeral. She relayed a story about the time Sergeant King locked up some older men who were bothering a 16-year-old "skateboard punk."

"And then he pulled aside this young boy and asked him a very simple but profound question: what are you planning to do with your life?" Pitman said. "A seemingly simple question, but these few words spoken with kindness and concern, provided this young boy with the encouragement he needed. He's now been a police officer for 10 years."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that state police have arrested a man near Kansas City in connection with King's shooting. They have not identified the individual, but police have said that 41-year-old Todd Shepherd is their only suspect.


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