Decatur, Ill. (WCIA) —
“To a hero. To a man who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb said.
It’s a tough goodbye for Champaign’s Police Chief, and many others across Central Illinois. Officer Chris Oberheim’s visitation was today. He’ll be laid to rest tomorrow.
Oberheim was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute on Wednesday morning. Officer Jeffrey Creel was also shot. Police say Darion Lafeyette was the shooter. He also died.
People were in and out of Maranatha Assembly of God church all day. They came from all over to support the Oberheim family.
“It’s a tragic loss to us and the entire department,” Chief Cobb said.
Champaign Police are saying goodbye to a co-worker and a friend.
“On behalf of his family, on behalf of our family as well, we’re all a little bit shooken as we’re going through it,” Chief Cobb said.
Members of Champaign’s Police Department were some of the hundreds who attended Officer Chris Oberheim’s visitation in Decatur. They were joined by other law enforcement like Macon County’s Sheriff.
“This is something that we do in order to make sure our communities are safe and some of us pay the ultimate sacrifice, and unfortunately it was Chris,” Antonio Brown, Macon County Sheriff, said. “Its going to be rough for all of us, but that being said, we still put on our uniform, we still put on the badge in order to go make sure our communities are safe.”
First responders from not only from Central Illinois, but all over the country came to pay their respects, including people from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“We’re with the “Brotherhood of the Fallen” and we go across the country in order to support the officers who have fallen in the line of duty, and we want to pay our respects,” Micheal Waldrup, Dallas Police Officer, said.
The church’s parking lot was filled the entire day with people coming to show their support.. Several groups walked in solidarity to honor Officer Oberheim, from Champaign Police, to the Monticello High School Softball Team, to the club softball team Oberheim helped coach. Dale Shelton worked with him on that team.
“He was very well thought of, just absolutely loved by the girls, and myself. I loved him like a brother,” Dale Shelton, Midland Magic Softball Coach, said.
That’s what makes this goodbye so difficult.
“He’s a one of a kind person and I’m going to miss him so much,” Shelton said.
The “Brotherhood of the Fallen” also presented a check to the Oberheim family.
The funeral will be tomorrow at the Maranatha Assembly of God in Decatur. It starts at 11 a.m. The funeral service is closed to the public. It’s only open to family, friends, invited guests and first responders.
A GoFundMe page for the family has raised more than $130,000. More than 1,000 people have donated. The page has been up less than four days.
We asked police how Officer Oberheim’s partner, Officer Creel, is doing. They tell us he’s still recovering. He was shot three times while responding to that domestic dispute.