NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Family, friends, and members of law enforcement gathered to mourn the loss of Officer Alexander Thalmann at his funeral Friday afternoon.
The funeral was held at Temple Baptist Church in New Bern. At least a 1,000 people filled the churches seats.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country, as well as friends and family, came to say goodbye to Officer Thalmann.
During the service, many of Thalmann's close friends and New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers took the stage to remember the good times they shared with Officer Thalmann.
Thalmann was described through the many different roles he had in life: a police officer, a marine, a friend and a son.
Thalmann's mother was presented with the North Carolina flag and the City of New Bern flag.
Chief Summers said Thalmann was a strong and committed officer who leaves behind a brotherhood. With tears in his eyes, he remembered his officer who he said will never be forgotten.
PREVIOUS: Family, friends, and members of law enforcement continue to mourn the loss of Officer Alexander Thalmann.
Thalmann passed away on Monday after being injured during a weekend shooting. The suspect who shot Thalmann, Bryan Stallings, was shot by police officers and died on the scene. Also shot was officer Justin Wester, who survived.
On Wednesday, the City of New Bern presented a wreath to the New Bern Police Department and Chief Toussiant Summers during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at the police department on George Street.
Funeral plans for Officer Thalmann were released Tuesday. Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at Hillside Funeral Home in Washington. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday, April 4, at Temple Baptist Church in New Bern. Burial will follow in the Oakdale Cemetery in Washington.
An escort brought Thalmann's body back to New Bern Tuesday; an autopsy was performed Tuesday, but a cause of death has not been released by the Medical Examiner's Office at Vidant Medical Center.
In addition, outside of the New Bern Police station sits a police car, draped with black velvet cloth and covered with flowers and messages in his memory.
To honor Thalmann, the City of New Bern is doing all it can to remember him. They started by creating a memorial. The memorial is outside of the New Bern Police Department. The city encourages people to come place flowers and cards on the car to remember Thalmann.
We also spoke with people who had met Thalmann during his 7 months as a police officer in New Bern.
River Bend Police Chief Ryland Matthews said he knew Thalmann. He said he was an eager officer always ready to serve his community.
"It's a sad time and a reminder, we always hear it sometime but we kind of put it in the back of our head, that you never know the day you go to work you never know how your day is going to end," Matthews explained. "Sadly for this young officer I think it ended all too quick."
Among the people we spoke with was a NewsChannel 12 employee, who said Thalmann helped him when his car broke down on his way to work.
"It was 4 am when my car broke down in the middle of an intersection and an officer pulled up," David Carta said. That officer was Alexander Thalmann. "He was extremely helpful, helping me push my car out the road. He told me he wanted people to know he was there to help."
Also a person who had interactions with Thalmann was a worker at Waffle House in New Bern. Thalmann was a regular patron, employees said.
"He would come in just about every day with his other officers," Heather Edwards Brown Said. She remembers serving him. "I wish everybody could've met him. I think everybody who met him was touched in some way. He was just the type of police officer the City of New Bern needed."
"The true heroes are people like Officer Thalmann who gave his life serving our community and protecting us. So many of us here in New Bern are thinking of him and his family, we will never forget him," New Bern resident Tom Adams said.
Thea Kincaid said it's not only a department loss, but a loss for the entire community.
"It's just sad, but we have to pull together and that's what our community is about," she said.
Kincaid said along with friends and church members they have made hundreds of blue ribbons. She asks for everyone to wear them over their hearts.
"This is just one small thing we can do to let him know we are thinking about him," she said.
New Bern Police tell the public attending the funeral Friday, April 4, 2014 at Temple Baptist Church to enter at Park and Fifth Street (close to the YMCA) and they will be directed where to park.
New Bern Police released the route that the funeral procession for Officer Thalmann will take after his funeral on Friday.
Leaving Temple Baptist Church, 1500 Kingdom Way – Right onto Rhem St.
Rhem St to First St. – Left onto First St.
First St to Broad St. – Right onto Broad St.
Broad St to Queen St. – Left onto Queen St.
Queen St to George St. – Right onto George St.
George St to Broad St. – Left onto Broad St.
Broad St to E. Front St. (Traffic Circle) – Right onto E. Front St.
E. Front St. to US 17 North exit (Washington Exit) – go US 17 North to Washington, NC
The funeral site will be at (Oakdale Cemetery), 180 E 15th St, Washington, NC
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