INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The community came to the Independence Police Department on Friday not only to offer words of support but to show an act of love for fallen Ofc. Blaize Madrid-Evans.
The procession escorting Madrid-Evans’ body paused in front of Independence police headquarters, a career he committed to just months ago.
A black shield covering the ambulance was a grim sign of first responders' duty to carry one of their own.
Flags lined the streets with the community every step of the way.
"We are big supporters of our city, our police department," said Steve Keeney, who came out to watch the procession. "I'm a member of our patriot guard, and we support all our military and first responders."
This hits home for many.
"My father-in-law is a retired police officer, and my brother-in-law is a retired police officer," said Lisa Petitt, an Independence resident.
Dee Greenwell also came out because she felt she just had to.
"I'm a mother of a policeman, and I haven't slept hardly for 35 years, I worry about him so much," Greenwell said. "I have a big lump in my throat. I love the police and what they do for us."
While this day was a somber reality that this tragedy could happen to their family, they say it’s important to be present.
"When you have a young officer killed in line of duty like this, the other young officers need to know that we support young officers, and we're for new people coming to our city," Keeney said.
For others, there are no words, and just being there is enough.
"Love is what it is," Petitt said.