MIAMI, Fla. (CBS/WFOR/AP) Family, friends, and thousands of fellow police officers from across the state gathered Monday at a funeral service for two Miami-Dade County police officers who lost their lives last week in the line of duty.
The crowd packed the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami to honor 41-year-old Roger Castillo and 44-year-old Amanda Haworth, who were killed Thursday while serving a warrant on a suspected killer.
The suspect, 22-year-old Johnny Simms, was killed by another officer.
The service fell on the same day that two St. Petersburg police officers were shot and killed while trying to arrest a man on a warrant for aggravated battery, says CBS affiliate WFOR.
The news that more of Florida's finest had been killed added to the grief for those already mourning Castillo and Haworth.
"The threat is so real, the shadow of death is so pronounced, that even as we gather, two officers lay dead in St. Petersburg, Florida," Walter Richardson, a chaplain for the Miami-Dade Police Department, told the officers as he stood on a stage near the flag-draped coffins of Castillo and Haworth.
Haworth, a single mother, leaves behind a 13-year-old son, and Castillo, whose wife is also a Miami-Dade police officer, is survived by three sons, ages 9 to 15.
John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, said in an e-mail that the fallen officers were heroes.
"These two officers were loving family members, friends and our neighbors. They wanted to serve their community and make it a better, safer place for all of us," Rivera said.