MIAMI SHORES (CBSMiami) – Friends, family and colleagues gathered Friday to pay their final respects to a fallen Miami Police Officer.
It was a somber scene at the Miami Shores Christian Church as loved ones including the officer’s 86-year-old mother, friends and police officers, among them Police Chief Manuel Orosa, embraced outside the Miami Christian Church at 10150 N.E. 2nd Ave.
Police officers on motorcycles escorted a white hearse carrying the officer’s coffin. Officers carefully took that coffin inside the church.
“This is very emotional,” said Detective Saen Dorcely, a member of the Miami Police Honor Guard and a friend of the 53-year-old officer, Carl Patrick.
Dorcely told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “We never thought this would happen to him so soon. He was a great officer and a great guy. We lost a brother who cannot be replaced.”
“He was in the honor guard since 1995,” said Sgt. Thomas Visney, the Supervisor of the Miami Police Honor Guard. “This is an event that I thought I never would have come to. He was a good person. It was just two weeks ago that he was at a city memorial service.”
“He was a good friend and devoted. I will miss him very much,” Visney added.
“Whether we lose someone in the line of duty or not, this hurts,” said Miami Police Sgt. Freddie Cruz.
“Despite the circumstances of what happened, this is a sad day for the city and the police department.”
Pembroke Pines Police found the body of Patrick after they went to his home May 9th to check on him after he had missed work. He was found dead from a gunshot wound inside his Pembroke Pines home.
Patrick’s funeral will be Saturday, May 17th at 1 p.m. at Trinity Church at 17801 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. From there, the procession will move to Dade Memorial Park, 1301 Opa-locka Blvd.
Patrick, who was a member of the department’s honor guard, will receive a full “Line of Duty Death” burial which means all the honors of a full police funeral including the Honor Guard, a 21-gun salute, a flyover by helicopters from Miami and Miami-Dade police, and the handing over of a folded American flag to his mother, Lucille Patrick. He’ll also be buried in his full honor guard uniform.
As those who loved and respected Patrick say their goodbyes, an investigation continues into how he died.
Police said Friday detectives are waiting on lab reports to help confirm exactly what happened before moving forward in the investigation. It is unclear if it included ballistics reports.
Miami police say Patrick was wearing his uniform, and that his lunch box and work computer were found in his car the afternoon he was found, an indication, they said, that he was on his way to work.
Patrick’s girlfriend, Tiniko Thompson, a public service aide for the city of Miami, hired attorney Roderick Vereen. Vereen told CBS4 News that Thompson and Patrick had argued which led to the two of them scuffling over the officer’s gun. He said it was Patrick who pulled the trigger and shot himself.
Thompson, Vereen said, then drove off in Patrick’s vehicle and waited two days before she told her mother what had happened. Why the wait?
“People act differently under stressful situations and so this is the way she dealt with it in that particular time so it is what it is,” said Vereen. “We can’t change the facts, I wish we could but we can’t change the facts so unfortunately this is how it played out.”
Vereen said Thompson was distraught and upset over the death which he said was an act of self-defense.
When asked why she was not cooperating with the police investigation, Vereen said she was keeping quiet for a reason.
On Thursday, Thompson lay down in the back of a relative’s SUV as she left her mother’s home in Opa-locka, so she would not have to answer any questions from the waiting media about the day her boyfriend died.
“This was a man that she loved and this is a very unfortunate situation for all sides. It’s a sad and tragic story,” said Vereen.
Vereen said Thompson does not plan to go to Patrick’s funeral services.
“She’s not going to be attending that. I’m pretty sure she’s not welcome even if she wanted to attend,” said Vereen.
Pembroke Pines police have called the incident a homicide, but there has been no arrest. Police have asked Thompson to come in for questioning, but she has refused.