FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The first Fargo police officer killed in the line of duty in 130 years was remembered Monday as a life saver who was a quiet hero and a mentor to others in law enforcement.
Hundreds of officers from several states and Canada formed caravans into the city in the morning and then led a 21-mile procession after the funeral for Jason Moszer, 33, who was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance on Feb. 10. Moszer leaves behind a wife and two stepchildren.
Fargo Police Chief David Todd told thousands of mourners during the service at Scheels Arena that Moszer was a "cop's cop" who was committed to helping others.
"The night Jason was mortally wounded was another example of his bravery and service to our community," Todd said. "He was responding to help victims of domestic violence and protecting area residents from a dangerous person set on harming others. Jason gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life in that mission of helping others and protecting the community that he has sworn to protect."
Todd said it wasn't the first time Moszer put others ahead of himself. Moszer earned the Silver Star Medal for rescuing two children from a burning an apartment building. Before his career as a police officer, he served as a combat medic for the Minnesota National Guard. After he died, Todd said, Moszer's organs were donated "so that others may live or have a better life."
The Rev. Kevin Kloster, a former Fargo police chaplain who had performed the wedding ceremony for Moszer and his wife, Rachel, said Moszer's death has brought "profound grief" to the community. The last time a Fargo police officer was killed in the line of duty was 1882.
"We hurt," Kloster said. "And there's anger."
Kloster noted the officers in uniform who came to support Rachel Moszer even though they didn't know the Fargo officer.
"It's a moving thing to see all of you here," Kloster said.
Friends said Moszer enjoyed camping, cooking, shooting, hosting parties and perhaps most of all, riding motorcycles.
Moszer's fellow officer and partner Jacob Rued had talked with him after work on Feb. 9, which was their last scheduled work day together because Moszer was moving to the day shift. Rued said he was sad at the time to be losing his mentor, but happy for Moszer.
"He told me he was excited to be able to spend more time with his family," Rued said, taking several breaths. "He also said he was nervous because he had never had a day job before."
The service ended with both police and military honor guard ceremonies and the sounds of officer status checks, the last of which went unanswered three times for "Edward 143," which was Moszer's call sign. Todd said that call sign will no longer be used by Fargo police.
The recessional song was "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi, which was a favorite among Moszer and his fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.
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