SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Hundreds of police officers joined family and friends in saying goodbye Monday to a Delaware officer who authorities say was fatally attacked while responding to a fight.
Officers from Delaware, Maryland and other states as well as members of the community that Delmar police Cpl. Keith Heacook served for 22 years provided an escort between Delmar and the service in Salisbury, Maryland.
Authorities say the 54-year-old Heacook was attacked April 25 by Randon Wilkerson, 30, of Salisbury after responding to a fight. Heacook died days later. Wilkerson was charged with attempted murder and other offenses and Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings has said the charges will be upgraded to include murder.
The Delmar police department serves a community that straddles the Maryland-Delaware border. News outlets report that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan spoke at the funeral of the grief felt in both states at the loss of a hero. Delaware Gov. John Carney said “the heart of every Delawarean is heavy in solidarity with all of you.”
Heacook was remembered as a dedicated son and loving father to his 12-year-old son. Heacook's stepdaughter, Michelle M. Colander, said he was a best friend to her mother, Susan.
“Not only was he amazing to my mother, but he was wonderful to me and my brothers,” Colander said. “He was always there to help to counsel and to be our support when we needed it. Even though I’m pretty certain we might have given him some gray hairs through the years, you would never have known because he was just always there and willing to help us.”