St. Raphael's Catholic church normally holds about 1,200 people.Tuesday, there were at least 2,000 people there to mourn for the firstRaleigh police officer to be shot to death in the line of duty in 17years.
Among the mourners were hundreds of law enforcement officers fromacross North Carolina and others from outside the state. It was animpressive show of support for a man who was gunned down just days afterhe was promoted to detective.
Just before the funeral service, the line of police cars with flashing bluelights stretched as far as the eye could see. From them came a seeminglyendless parade of uniformed officers, all with black mourning bands ontheir badges.
Raleigh Police Officer Kevin Carswell remembers Hale as a kind man whohelped him through his rookie period.
Rev. William Kelley, who conducted the funeral Mass, referred toFriday's events as an "absurdity."
Hale was buried at Raleigh Memorial Park on Glenwood Avenue. Hewas married and the father of two girls, Stephanie, 7, and Jessica, 10.Two fundshave been set up in the wake of his death.
If you would like to contribute, send checks or money orders to thePaul Hale Memorial Fund, c/o Ravenscroft School, 7409 Falls of Neuse Road,Raleigh, NC 27615 or to the Scholarship Fund (for Hale's two daughters), P.O. Box 590, Raleigh, NC 27602.