Community gathers to pray and grieve after officer is killed


Monticello, Ill. (WCIA) —

“Monticello has had a surreal day. Its been unbelievable,” Scott Burnsmeir, who helped organize the prayer, said.

A city is hurting after the loss of a valuable member of their community. People gathered to grieve after the death of Officer Chris Oberheim. The Monticello Christian Church opened their doors as a place for people to pray and grieve. They said it didn’t matter if you went to the church or not, they just wanted people to feel comfortable coming to the church to grieve.

“Helping people with their emotions and taking some of the first steps towards dealing with this loss,” Jerry Dusenberry, senior minister, said.

A city is in mourning after losing a major part of their town.

“Chris meant a lot to our community. His family means a lot to our community and this is a way that we can bring some faith and hope back to people and an opportunity for them to grieve,” Burnsmeir said.

44 – year old Officer Chris Oberheim was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute. He leaves behind his wife and daughters.

“He emphasized a girl dad. I mean he has four girls. He was a strong man,” Burnsmeir said.

One of his daughters played a softball game the day after the death of her dad, but she wanted to honor him, knowing he’d want her there.

“He was a man that was a great father, a great husband, and a great community member and he will be solely missed,” Burnsmeir said.

While the family is mourning, the community in Monticello is trying to help. At the prayer, people could write notes to the Oberheim family, and the church will personally deliver them.

“Someone like Chris is a pillar that makes most communities. He makes them stronger,” Burnsmeir said.

Its not just the family heartbroken. People from all over the city are trying to deal with the grief that struck their community.

“This is about the community coming together. Doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re even connected with the church or not, but we know that all the churches in the area want to be team players,” Dusenberry said.

The senior minister said he wants to support for anyone hurting during this time.

“If it helps a lot of people, that’s awesome and we hope God gets the glory for that. If we help one person we’ll feel like its all been worth it, if that one person can find their way through this,” Dusenberry said.

The church encourages anyone to reach out to them if you need any support.

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