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Nearly 1,000 attend vigil for fallen West Bloomfield officer

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Many attended a vigil Tuesday night for fallen West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O'Rourke.  (Credit: WJBK) Many attended a vigil Tuesday night for fallen West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O'Rourke. (Credit: WJBK)

It was a somber service for a hero in blue.  Tuesday night, West Bloomfield honored the life of fallen police officer Patrick O'Rourke, the township's first killed in the line of duty.

A mother stayed visually strong for her four children as they remembered O'Rourke, a brave officer, loving father, husband and friend.  A heartbroken family drew strength from nearly a thousand people who attended a candlelight vigil at the West Bloomfield Police Department, some who knew him and others who wished they had the chance.

"I'm here tonight to support him, support his family and his four children that he's leaving behind.  It's a sad story," said Troy Police Officer Matt Redmond.

"He was so loving and just welcomed anybody into his family.  He's an amazing guy, and those girls are going to miss him," said sister-in-law Kristie Corry.

In front of the department, flags flew at half staff, candles burned and there was a sign in honor of West Bloomfield Police that read, "Our heroes.  Thanks for keeping us safe."

That's exactly what the twelve year veteran of the force did before he answered his final call.  Before going in to try and save 50-year-old Ricky Coley from what came into 9-1-1 as a possible suicide, he alerted neighbors, telling them to take cover to avoid being hit by stray bullets.  When Officer O'Rourke entered Coley's home, he met his fate.  Coley, a man he tried to save, allegedly shot several rounds through the bedroom door striking O'Rourke in the neck.

"We were so proud to have Pat here as one of our police officers.  He always represented himself and our department very well, and we're just going to really miss him dearly," said West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton.

Police officers from all over metro Detroit showed up.  Some were working the shifts of West Bloomfield officers so they could attend the vigil.

West Bloomfield is a close knit and diverse community.  Various religious leaders shared their words of faith trying to comfort O'Rourke's family and friends, and those who just came to offer their support were trying to make peace with this immense loss.

"We cherish those few years that were allotted to him.  Though they were few, they were a source of blessing to so many," said Rabbi Norman Roman with Temple Kol Ami.

An education, health and welfare fund has been setup for the family of Officer O'Rourke.  You can make a donation at any Bank of America branch.  There is now also a website that has now been created.  It's

Visitation for Patrick O'Rourke is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Elton Black and Son Funeral Home in Highland, located at 3295 East Highland Road.  His funeral will take place at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. John's Catholic Church in Fenton, located at 600 North Adelaide.

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