Originally published November 4, 2010 at 1:08 p.m., updated November 4, 2010 at 3:44 p.m.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across California gathered, along with state and local dignitaries and residents today, to pay final respects to a veteran San Diego patrolman and father of two gunned down in the line of duty last week.
SAN DIEGO Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across California gathered, along with state and local dignitaries and residents today, to pay final respects to a veteran San Diego patrolman and father of two gunned down in the line of duty last week.
A ceremonial procession of police vehicles traveled from Mission Valley to Liberty Station prior to the late-morning funeral for Officer Christopher Wilson.
Wilson, a 17-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), was killed in a shootout while carrying out a probation check at a Skyline-area apartment complex. He died after sustaining a gunshot wound to his head.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of many state and local officials in attendance. He said Wilson was a real-life action hero.
“Today we salute and celebrate Officer Christopher Wilson,” said Schwarzenegger. “He was a warrior and we will never forget his selflessness, his service, his great dedication and his sacrifice.”
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, former San Diego police chief, was also present at the funeral. He said Wilson was a great judge of character and a remarkable human being.
"Despite seeing some of the worst in human nature during his 17 years on the force, Officer Wilson remained a relentless optimist," said Sanders. "He used to say 99 percent of the citizens are good, it's the one percent who cause all the problems.”
It's been nearly four years since a San Diego police officer has been killed in the line of duty. Officials say that ballistics testing will help determine exactly what happened when Wilson was killed.
Many of the speakers spoke of Wilson's love for his two children, Kaylee, 20 and Conner, 17. A tearful Kaylee Wilson told the sea of badges and uniforms that she is gaining strength from her father’s lessons.
“My dad always told me that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it,” she said. “I’m trying my hardest to follow his advice and be strong because I know that’s what he would want.” She said she will be okay because of her father’s love and guidance.
The San Diego Police Officers Association has set up a trust fund to benefit Wilson’s family. The association is accepting donations for the fund via the agency’s website or via check made payable to the SDPOA Charity fund with Christopher Wilson written in the memo line. Checks can be sent to the agency's offices at 8388 Vickers St., San Diego, 92111.
City News Service contributed to the information in this report.