Wake for slain trooper
More than 100 police officers, family members and well wishers streamed down the aisles of Abyssinia Baptist Church in Capitol Heights Friday to say one final goodbye to the Maryland state trooper who was gunned down outside a Forestville Applebee's last week.
Even veteran troopers fought back tears as they gazed upon the body of Trooper Wesley Brown, 24, whose casket was open and set against a row of flowers in front of the church altar. Outside, police officers and family members hugged one another and stood talking about a young man with so much potential whose life was taken callously.
"He was a great, great person," said Washington Hospital Center Officer Christopher Bell, who worked security jobs with Brown. "This is just a tragedy."
Lt. Mark Darby, Brown's supervisor, said the incident "really brings home the danger law enforcement faces." The mood inside the church, he said, was "somber."
Mary Pollard, Brown's cousin, said she could not bring herself to go inside the church until other relatives came. They were expected around 5 p.m. Relatives had figured out Brown was the youngest of 40 grandchildren, she said Thursday. Of the shooting, she said, "It kind of makes you wonder, you know, how people get stupid."
Brown was killed June 11 while working off duty as a security guard at an Applebees. He ejected a patron for uriniating inside the restaurant and a dispute over his bill, police have said,
The patron, Cyril Cornelius Williams, 27, of Seat Pleasant, has been charged with first-degree murder. A friend of Williams's, who sources have said gave Williams the gun, also has been charged. The friend, Anthony A. Milton II, 28, is charged with murder.
Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Morris said the inner loop of the Beltway will be closed Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. for Brown's funeral procession. The shutdown will begin at Arena Drive and extend south to Exit 11 (Pennsylvania Avenue).
A scholarship fund has been established in Brown's name.
Stay tuned to PostLocal.com Saturday for coverage of the funeral.
Washington Post editors
June 18, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: Homicide , Maryland , Matt Zapotosky , Pr. George's
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