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Officer Daniel Vasquez

Tributes continue for fallen NKC officer

People from across Kansas City continue to make tributes to a fallen North Kansas City police officer.  The comments across social media and community groups come after metro-area residents gathered at Vineyard Church in the Northland Tuesday to honor Officer Daniel Vasquez, the North Kansas City police officer who was killed in the line of duty two weeks ago.

Visitors were greeted by a large American flag suspended by a fire truck as police patrol vehicles streamed into the church parking lot. Many of those in attendance were public safety workers, including members of the Kansas City, Independence and Olathe police departments, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Small groups of people passed through the church auditorium where a casket draped in a large American flag was set at the center as two officers stood beside it. A portrait of Vasquez in his police uniform was set up nearby.

The visitation came as the North Kansas City community, especially those in law enforcement, have mourned the sudden loss over the past seven days. Vasquez, 32, was shot and killed during a traffic stop by a man authorities say confessed to the crime hours later.

Vasquez, finished his police academy training roughly one year ago and joined the North Kansas City Police Department as a recruit. His death marks the first officer killed in the line of duty in North Kansas City, and he recently was awarded the Medal of Valor, the department’s highest honor.

Vasquez was fatally shot on July 19 around 10:40 a.m. after he pulled over a vehicle for an expired temporary license plate. Authorities allege Joshua Rocha, 24, confessed to killing him and said he committed the crime because he did not want to go to jail that day.

The public visitation was the first of the formal services for Vasquez. His funeral service was to be held Wednesday with a large procession to follow as Vasquez’s body would be taken to White Chapel Memorial Gardens.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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