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Hundreds of family, friends, and law enforcement officers gathered today in North Salt Lake to honor a police officer killed in the line of duty.
Officer Charlie Skinner, 30, died Friday, Nov. 8, a few days after his squad car spun out of control during a high speed chase and crashed.
Representatives from nearly every law enforcement agency in the state, and some from other states attended today's funeral at the Bountiful Regional Center. Friends and family of Officer Skinner say that kind of support makes the service even more emotional.
"I'm feeling very emotional today because this is all beautiful for him," said Skinner's aunt, Grace Yeates.
Family friend Marilyn Bilbo said, "It's overwhelming. It gives me cold chills to see support from the community as well as the officers throughout the state. It does bring tears to your eyes."
Michelle Jensen said, "It's devastating for law enforcement across the state, for every department and for everyone who serves in the law enforcement community."
Those who knew Officer Skinner say he was a good friend, a loving husband and a proud father. His uncle, Michael Yeates, tells us that before his death, Officer Skinner described his life as perfect, and he was doing exactly what he wanted to do. He said, "He was a fun-loving, bubbly personality with a little bit of a shy streak; however, the last two years of his life, married to Katie and with his two twins, he described it as the perfect life."
Officer Skinner was new to the North Salt Lake Police Department. He had been with them for less than a year. His death is the first in the department's history. North Salt Lake officer Harold Altenes says Skinner's passing has made the members of the department draw closer. "It's been a rough week. We're deeply saddened. He fought hard," he said.
A family friend Michelle Jensen said, "It's devastating for law enforcement across the state, for every department and everyone who serves in the law enforcement community."
As Officer Skinner was carried to his final resting place at the Bountiful Cemetery, an American flag draped over his casket.
Family and friends say today's service was the sendoff he deserved. Shauna Yeates said, "He loved unconditionally, and he did not say anything bad about anybody his entire life. He deserved this sendoff."
Officer Skinner was an only child. He leaves behind his wife and 5-week-old twins.