Hundreds pay respects at funeral of slain US Capitol officer

National

This image provided by the U.S. Capitol Police shows U.S. Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran who was a member of the department’s first responders unit. Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday. The tribute comes as part of the second such ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will attend a ceremony for Evans, who was killed April 2 when a vehicle rammed into him and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Senate side of the Capitol. (U.S. Capitol Police via AP)

ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — The flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans was carried into a Massachusetts church on Thursday by his fellow Capitol officers as dozens of state police troopers stood in the street in a steady downpour and saluted.

Evans was killed this month when a driver struck him and another officer at a barricade outside the U.S. Senate in Washington.

The private funeral Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Adams was followed early Thursday afternoon by a procession to Bellevue Cemetery — where Evans was to be laid to rest beside his father, Howard.

Hundreds of police officers from department across the region lined up outside the church before the Mass under a U.S. flag held aloft by an Adams Fire Department ladder truck. Several residents stood under umbrellas nearby and gathered on the streets for the funeral procession to the cemetery to say goodbye to the officer whose death has shaken the small communities in the northwest corner of the state.

Evans, 41, was raised in North Adams and Clarksburg and was a graduate of Drury High School and Western New England University in Springfield.

North Adams has about 14,000 residents, Adams 8,500, and Clarksburg has only about 1,700. Everybody knows just about everyone else in town, and if they don’t know them, they still share a hometown bond.

“This poor young man lost his life serving his country,” Adams resident Judy McConnell, who said she knows Evans’ mother, told The Berkshire Eagle. “His mother’s heart must be broken. Coming out is the right thing to do to respect people who put their lives on the line every day.”

“It shouldn’t have happened but it did,” Adams resident Greg Trottier told The Boston Globe. “Everybody was in shock. In a big city or something like that it’s different, but when it happens somewhere like here — it’s just terrible. I didn’t personally know him, but I’m just here to pay my respects.”

Evans had served with the U.S. Capitol Police since 2003.

“He has been a member of the First Responder Unit for over 15 years and assigned at the North Barricade, where his fellow officers came to lovingly call him ‘King of the North,’” according to hisobituary.

Even when he moved to Virginia, he maintained his loyalty to the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, and participated in bowling and baseball leagues for his entire life.

He also loved board games.

“He spread his love of games to his family, with vacations spent around a table sharing laughs, critiquing strategies, and celebrating each other’s wins,” according to the obituary.

He layin honor Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda, wherePresident Joe Biden in a eulogy said he was “defined by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage.”

Survivors include his children, Logan, 9, and Abigail, 7; their mother, Shannon Terranova; his mother, Janice; and his sister, Julie Kucyn.

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