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Hundreds Gather To Remember Elk River Officer, Son

ELK RIVER, Minn. (WCCO) -- "We will never know why." That was the theme of services wrapping up Sunday night for a decorated Elk River police officer and his son.

Elk River officer Todd Besser, 49, was killed last weekend. Shortly after, his 27-year-old son Blake was also killed. Todd Besser's youngest son Chris confessed to killing his family members saying he just "lost it."

Sunday, the pair was remembered in a joint memorial service. Hundreds filled the Elk River High School gym.  A pastor spoke, Blake's friend spoke and Todd's brother spoke.

In a room where he used to work, they gathered. A former school patrol officer, now they were keeping watch over him and his beloved son, Blake. In the crowd, his son Derrick sat too with Todd Besser's wife of a year and a half, Gwen.

"I gave her a big hug. She's holding up but it will be a long, hard day for her. She'll pull through," friend Terry Ross said.

Terry Ross was one of many friends escorted in and out by the Patriot guard.

"We are just blown away by what's happened here. Hard to describe the sadness you feel when a family like this has been completely broken apart," Ross said.

Several friends walked behind his coffin in festive clothes, remembering a friend who loved to travel.

There were many tears shed for Todd and his son Blake.

"In German, Besser means better and Blake that's what you made us ," David Oltman said.

Todd's friend said over and over it was a day no one could make sense of.

"Lean not on your understanding. We will never understand that," the pastor said.

And with that, Todd's brother spoke for the family it seems was torn apart. The family, he said that will stay together.

"Todd we miss you, Blake, we miss you, Derrick we love you and Chris, we forgive you," Scott Besser said.


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