HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers gathered to bid a final farewell to Officer Yandy Chirino.
The Hollywood Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty two weeks ago. Officers from across South Florida and around the country are mourning his death.
The memorial service was held on Monday at the FLA Live Arena and was open to the public.
Family and friends described Chirino as having a short but extraordinary life.
“Officer Yandy Chirino, thank you for your unwavering and brave service to the city of Hollywood,” said Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien. “May we all live life to the fullest like you did and serve with the same courage you served with every day. May we perform our duties with your same dedication and integrity. We will never forget you, Yandy. Rest in peace, brother. We’ll take it from here.”
“We’re here to celebrate a man who is irreplaceable. A man that only comes around once in a lifetime,” said Chirino’s best friend Jovany Coronado. “He impacted every single person he came in contact with in a positive manner, that it’s OK to go through hard times, just not to dwell on it. Brother, you did a hell of a job, man, and I love you forever.”
“Even though he’s not physically here with us, myself, his friends and his family will forever live out his legacy and we will continue to live like Yandy,” said Chirino’s girlfriend Chelsea Howell. “To Yandy, I loved you then, I love you now, always did and always will. You’ll forever be in my mind and forever in my heart. I will love you forever, Yandy Chirino.”
Officers from several different agencies gathered outside the arena to honor Chirino.
“I know throughout the entire night Chirino heard all of us in the hospital and he felt me hold on to him as I screamed to hold on, that we were almost there,” said officer Henry Martinez.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the lieutenant governor as well as Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz were in attendance.
Wasserman Schultz brought the family a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol in his honor.
Chirino graduated from Coral Park Senior High in 2011 and from Florida International University in 2015 with a criminal justice degree.
“It’s very difficult, very difficult, because even though this is not someone we knew personally, as a brother in law enforcement, we’re all brothers,” said Lee Milstein with the Blue Knights of South Florida.
Chirino, 28, was gunned down when, police said, a burglary suspect resisting arrest shot and killed him.
Sunday, the viewing for Chirino was held at the Vista Funeral Home in Miami Lakes.
There was a 24-mile procession from Vista Funeral Home to the memorial service in Sunrise.
Officers from departments all across South Florida were in attendance, including Hialeah, North Miami Beach, Aventura and West Miami.
A group of New York Police Department officers also flew down to stand by the side of the Chirino family.
“Even after we all leave and go home, there is still a support network. Not only in their own community, but across the country,” said NYPD Sgt. John McFarland.
Ther service for Chirino ended with a helicopter flyover and riderless horse, which symbolically represents a fallen warrior.
The funeral procession then went to Memorial Regional Hospital, where Chirino died, and then to the Hollywood Police Department, where he served.
He was then taken to his final resting place in Miami Lakes.
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