Fallen Martinez, Richmond officer honored in DC

May 13, 2009 9:45:07 AM PDT
Members of the Richmond and Martinez police departments have gone to Washington, D.C., to honor two fallen officers whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, police at the two departments said.

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Martinez police Sgt. Paul Starzyk and Richmond police Officer Bradley Moody, along with the other 131 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2008, will be honored at a ceremony at the memorial this evening.

The names of 254 other officers who died in the line of duty in previous years, but, for various reasons, were not engraved on the monument, have also been added. The memorial was dedicated in 1991 and now bears the names of 18,661 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Starzyk, 47, was fatally shot Sept. 6, 2008, while he was responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at a beauty salon in Martinez, according to police.

After terrorizing customers at the beauty salon, the gunman barricaded himself in a second floor apartment, where his estranged wife's cousin was attempting to hide, police said.

When officers arrived, they heard gunfire and women screaming and rushed up to the apartment.

As Starzyk arrived, the gunman, who had already fatally shot his wife's cousin, Catalina Torres, reached around the door and shot Starzyk. Before he died, Starzyk returned fire and killed the gunman.

His actions saved the lives of two women and three children who were hiding with Torres in the apartment, police said.

Starzyk had been with the Martinez Police Department for 12 years.

He left behind a wife and three children.

Moody, 29, was responding to a report of an assault on the morning of Oct. 4, 2008, when his car spun out and struck a utility pole.

The crash left him brain dead, but before being taken off life support, two of his organs were donated to a patient at the University of San Francisco Medical Center who had less than a day to live, police said.

Moody had been with the department for eight years and was a canine officer and a member of the SWAT team. He left behind his wife Susan Moody and their two young daughters.

The ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. and will include a candlelight vigil, a laser light show, musical tributes and the reading of the 387 names that were added to the memorial this year.

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