Law enforcement, loved ones, community members pay respects to fallen Cleveland officer

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MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – Law enforcement, loved ones and members of the community gathered to pay their respects to Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek, who was killed New Year’s Eve during a carjacking.

Calling hours were held for the fallen officer at Grace Church of Middleburg Heights.

The church parking lot was packed as mourners stood in line for a couple of hours to pay their respects and show Officer Bartek’s family and community how much he meant to them.

Blue ribbons line the poles and trees in the parking lot. American flags and thin blue line banners also lined the front lawn of the church on Pearl Road.

“I’m here for Officer Bartek. It means so much. It could have been me, it could have been anyone and that’s why I’m here, to pay respects to him and his fellow officers,” said fellow Cleveland Police Officer Kevin Jones.

The parking lot was filled with Cleveland police cruisers and cruisers from other departments as well.

“The dangers that we all take for our community and that’s what we all signed up to do and do it with passion, so we can’t help but thank people who put their lives on the line,” Jones said.

Bartek was off duty when he was gunned down during a carjacking at his apartment complex on New Year’s Eve. Investigators said 18-year old Tamara McLoyd shot him during a struggle as she tried to steal his car.

Police said she then gave the stolen vehicle to Anthony Butler, Jr, who was also arrested after leading police on a chase before he was captured at a Euclid apartment complex.

“To support the loss of a young man who served the community, you know, it’s just sad that we ever have to face this situation,” said church member LeAnn Wendling.

“My heart goes out to him, police service. Heaven’s helped us to see a tragic thing like this happen. It breaks your heart because he’s a young man. The whole thing is truly bad, the way it went down,” said church member Bruce Wendling.

“I just attended to give my condolences and support to the family because he’s a local policeman and I live locally, so he died young and it’s just a shame to see somebody wonderful like him die so young,” said community member Corina Coulson.

Coulson said she was among the people who waited a couple hours in a packed church to say goodbye to Bartek.

“It’s filled, the whole church is filled and it’s sad. It’s peaceful and quiet and some sadness. I just talked to some close friends, two girls that were from Washington, DC who came. Close friends, he’s getting friends from everywhere, he has friend everywhere,” said Coulson.

Officer Bartek’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Grace Church on Pearl Road in Middleburg Heights.

He will be laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery.

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