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WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — The wife of a police officer slain the line of duty says he was "the best friend anyone could ever ask for," was adored by their four children and was always chasing "bigger dreams."
Canonsburg police Officer Scott Bashioum's "job was to run toward danger, never from it. He was so brave and so courageous," Ashley Bashioum eulogized at his funeral on Wednesday. "The sadness of his absence will never end."
State police, who helped organize the funeral and the processions to and from the Church of the Covenant in Washington, said more than 340 police vehicles and 800 officers from across the country gathered to honor Bashioum.
Bashioum was killed and fellow Canonsburg Officer James Saieva Jr. was wounded when Michael Cwiklinski shot them as they approached a duplex for a report that Cwiklinski was fighting with his pregnant lover on Nov. 10.
Cwiklinski, who killed Dalia Sabae, had planted propane tanks in the apartment and in his vehicle outside but was unable to detonate them with gunfire, which he apparently hoped would harm even more officers. He later killed himself.
Saieva was released from a hospital and served as one of several honorary pall bearers at Bashioum's funeral.
The police and other emergency vehicles were part of a 15-mile procession from a funeral home to the church. After the funeral, the procession wound slowly through Canonsburg on the way to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 13 miles away.
Spectators gathered in small groups along both routes, with hundreds in Canonsburg, where a veterans' memorial in front of the borough building has been swamped with mementos and tributes to Bashioum.
Bashioum and his wife met when he worked for the streets department in Smith Township, another Washington County community. But she said "he had bigger dreams" and went on to serve 29 years in the Air Force, including in the Persian Gulf War and the reserves, and spent the last seven as an officer in Canonsburg.
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