Remembering a slain officer

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/*Abernethy*/ was killed while chasing a suspect on Sunday morning. On Friday, his family, friends and fellow officers gathered to remember and honor him.

Outside Champion Forest Baptist Church, Patriot Guard Riders lined a path to the entrance as HPD officers accompanied their fallen brother's casket into the church.

Houston police officer Tim Abernathy died Sunday trying to make the streets safer. On Friday, he was honored for his sacrifice and commitment.

"He cared and believed in the people he was helping when he was patrolling," said Chaplain Mike Montgomery with the Houston Police Department. "It wasn't fair that his life was taken."

An 11-year veteran of the force, Officer Abernethy meant different things to different people. He was a decorated officer with impeccable character who was admired by his peers.

"Tim taught me compassion and I'm a better person for having known him," said Officer Lance Gibson with the Houston Police Department. "As Tim watches over us today, he would be happy. He loves this department."

Abernethy was equally devoted to his family.

"Tim had such a gentle, yet tender heard," said Evelyn Campbell, Abernethy's sister. "I'm so thankful that I had him for a brother and for all the memories that I have."

Though his widow didn't speak, the chaplain read aloud a letter she wrote to her late husband.

"It is God who I give all the glory, honor and praise for the honor of being your wife and your best friend," he read. "I love you. I adore you. I will miss you."

It's a real loss for this community," said Houston Mayor Bill White. "I ask the citizens that they remember there are people working for them every day and putting themselves in harm's way."

The ceremony went on outside, including a wall of honor, a flyover in a missing man formation, a 21-gun salute and the customary playing of Taps. It was a final farewell to a hero.

Officer Abernethy was sworn in as an HPD officer in December 1997 and killed last Sunday morning while working overtime on the north side. He was shot and killed after making a traffic stop. The driver, now identified as Mabry Landor, tried to get away on foot. When Abernethy followed him into the Luxor Park apartment complex, police say Landor shot Abernethy. Landor told investigators he accidentally shot the officer when he tripped and fell and gun went off. But eyewitnesses dispute that claim. Landor is due back in court next month on capital murder charges.

Officer Abernethy is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter, his parents and several siblings. He's was remembered Friday as someone who truly cared.

The 100 Club helped Officer Abernethy's family with the funeral expenses. The organization collects money to aid police families during tragic times. If you would like to help the 100 Club, you can send donations to 1233 West Loop South, Suite 1250, Houston, 77027.

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