DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Officer Chris Oberheim was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon. Hundreds of people paid their respects at his funeral at Marantha Assembly of God Church.
“It’s emotional. I’m glad to see everybody coming together to support each other through the tough times,” said Sarah Atkins, whose husband works at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Chris Oberheim was on duty on Wednesday, May 19, when he was shot and killed. He was a father, husband, a former police officer for Decatur and a current one for Champaign. He received two medals of valor for his courageous acts of selfless bravery. For family and wives of law enforcement, this loss was particularly personal.
“The past week has been pretty emotional for a lot of the spouses,” said Atkins. “We feel for his spouse. We can never imagine what she’s going through but it’s been emotional to know that it’s hit this close to home for us.”
After a week of tears and mourning, loved ones, friends, and complete strangers had a chance to honor his life.
“After a couple of tough years with a lot of negative attention for the police departments, it was nice to see the community come together,” said Amber Girard.
Law enforcement from all over the state came to pay their respects, a sign of unity during a time of mourning.
“They’ve got communities from all over behind them as they go through this tragedy,” said Atkins.
“We just hope that this will motivate the police officers, show them that the community still supports them,” said Girard.
Law enforcement gave their final call over police scanner Wednesday afternoon, saying “you will be forever remembered as a decorated, true American hero. You answered the call and gave your all.”