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Thousands Attend Wake for Slain Officer

Streets of Merrick lined with police officers, firefighters, government officials and residents paying their respects.

MERRICK – A line of police officers, most with glum expressions, wrapped around the side of the Merrick Fire Department's Empire Hose Company firehouse, all waiting their turn to pay their respects to Nassau County Police Officer Arthur "Artie" Lopez.

Scores of officers hugged and some cried as they waited outside the firehouse to enter the wake for Lopez, who was gunned down on Tuesday morning by alleged murderer Darrell Fuller. Near the lines of cars were two Nassau County Police vehicles, both renamed in honor of the fallen officer.

"He was the real deal," said Nassau County PBA President James Carver. "He lived it... being a cop. Just a look at his smile and you knew who he was."

Officers from near and far attended the wake – all in their formal uniforms, just as Lopez is currently dressed. Government officials, including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Representative Peter King and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were also on hand to pay their respects to Lopez.

"We're making sure our guys get the help they need to get through this," said Carver, who noted the PBA and Police were offering peer counseling. "It's tough for a lot of us – we've all done that same car stop Artie did. We're relying on each other to get through it all."

With the funeral set for Saturday, Carver said he told family members to stay strong.

"As the days go on, his family is not as emotional," he noted. "They're comfortable surrounded by us [police force]. Tomorrow's going to be really tough though – and we're going to be there for them."

Lopez's funeral ceremony will be held at St. Christopher's Church in Baldwin at 12 noon.

Robert J. Pape, Jr. October 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Today we say farewell to yet another hero of Nassau County's Finest, ESU officer Artie Lopez. I have met several fellow officiers of Artie Lopez who without exception, say he was an exceptional young man with a true talent and passion for police work. Please keep this fine young man in your prayers as his family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters in the emergency services gather to say good bye. May God Bless officer Lopez and watch over all those who stand in harms way for our safety and protection. Thank you.
Joe Dowd October 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Well said, Bob. Requiescat in pace.
Frank G October 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Thank you! Rest in peace. You won't be forgotten!
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Seadog24 October 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Rest In Peace and God Bless your friends and family....

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