DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Thousands of people streamed into UD Arena Monday evening to pay their respects to Detective Jorge Del Rio and his family.
There was obvious sadness and grief, but also a strong sense of togetherness, especially among members of the law enforcement community. One uniformed officer said, “This is a rough reason for a family reunion.”
Tamara Hrachovina of Dayton says, “He deserves the honor.” Monday’s cold, wind, and rain did not stop thousands of people from waiting in line for hours. Alexandria Fecke says, “It was rough. Two children, well three children. It was very rough.”
But despite the elements, people insisted on supporting Detective Jorge Del Rio and his family.
Leslie Ditmer says, “As many times as he’s risked his life to do what he was born to do, I thought it would be the right thing to do.”
As the rain turned to snow, still people came. Leslie struggled to make sense of it for her grandchildren. Her oldest is 7. “Whether she grasps it or not, I don’t know. But we will be here tomorrow.”
For days Sandy’s Towing has volunteered their services to help the Dayton Police Department. On Tuesday they’ll bring in buses to shuttle family and friends to the funeral services.
Owner Doug Thoma says, “I’ve seen so many of these guys come and go from the start to the finish through their retirement. I know a lot of these guys. They’re not just people I work with, a lot of them are very close friends.”
This shooting brings up sad memories for some people old enough to remember others. Tamara Hrachovina says, “Because I can remember other fallen officers. It’s not right.” Tamara came with her daughter, who is studying to be a police officer.
Christine Hrachovina says, “It is scary because you don’t know if you’re going to come home and see your family the next day.”
For five hours Monday, people from across the state came to grieve and to begin to heal.
Leslie Ditmer says, “They lost one of their own in a tragic way, and they’re going to push harder, full force.”
Dozens of different uniforms were in line at Monday’s visitation, including local police departments, school resource officers, BCI and ATF agents, and park rangers. Officers from as far away as Wooster and Youngstown made the trip to support their brother in blue.