CLEVELAND -- A suspected hit-and-run driver is in custody, as a community grieves the loss of Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, who was killed in the line of duty.
A massive crowd gathered in front of the First District police headquarters Tuesday evening to honor the officer who made the ultimate sacrifice for his community.
Fellow officers from the 133rd graduating class of the Cleveland Police Academy leaned on each other as they remembered the 39-year-old officer.
"He's our brother, our friend ... he's always gonna be here with us. He's our angel; he's always gonna ride on our shoulders," one of them said, comforting fellow officers.
About 200 people attended the vigil.
"My family, they're hurting a lot, so we wanted to make sure one of us made it out because you guys have come out here and shown such support for us and your prayers are just so really appreciated," said Officer Fahey's brother, Chris Porter, who is also a Cleveland police officer.
Around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Officer Fahey was struck by a car and killed on Interstate 90 just west of Warren Road. The driver kept going.
Investigators say Fahey was setting up flares to divert traffic from an earlier fatal accident on the interstate in Rocky River.
In that crash, a 29-year-old man from San Francisco was killed when the van he was driving slammed into a fire truck that had responded to a minor one-car accident.
"Officer Fahey was out there protecting the city and doing his job, and he's not going home to his family, so I ask that you pray for him, pray for the city," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
Hours after the crash, police arrested 44-year-old Israel Alvarez in Lorain. They believe he was driving the white Toyota Camry that police say hit the officer, then fled the scene.
"Keep all the police officers in your thoughts and prayers because everybody's...everybody's going through a really hard time right now," said Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association.
Officer Fahey's family, including his brothers and sisters in blue, say the community support will help them get through the tough days that lie ahead.
"He loved this neighborhood; he loved working for this neighborhood and he loved this city, and he loved working for this city, so thank you so much, so much for your support," said the officer's brother.
Officer Fahey joined the department in 2014.
Or, you may mail a check made out to CPPA Charities and write "Officer Fahey Memorial" in the memo line to:
1303 W. 58th Street
Cleveland, OH 44102
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