Memorial service held for fallen Vallejo officer

November 30, 2011 7:47:54 PM PST
Thousands of police from across the state came together on Wednesday to honor a police officer who was gunned down while chasing a wanted bank robber.

Officer James Capoot was remembered as a dedicated officer, a devoted father and husband and the heart of the community.

Every memorial is moving because it paints a photo of the officer, but this one was particularly so because it wasn't just about an officer who wore the uniform, but of a man who made a difference in his community.

The sound and the sight of a funeral is one that police officers dread: Both herald the passing of a brother or sister killed in the line of duty. In Vallejo, the fact that it was Capoot made Wednesday all the more difficult.

"He was the kind of guy you could not walk past without acknowledging him or him, you," said Brian Estudilalolo with the Vallejo Police Department.

In Vallejo, acknowledgements of broken hearts and tears for a man who was so much more than a police officer. He was also a girls high school basketball coach.

"Coach Jim was an amazing man," said Allessandra Jefferson. "I thank God for bringing him nito my life and making me into the leader that I am."

There were 2.5 hours of gut-wrenching memories and sentiment for a police officer and former Marine who changed lives. At one point, the air above the memorial was filled with a tribute from police helicopters.

Capoot died on Nov. 17 when he was shot and killed while chasing a bank robbery suspect. Capoot left behind a wife and three daughters.

"My dad was a Marine, a police officer but different from the rest," said Jamie Capoot. "He was special. I've never met someone like him. I hope I can live a life he would be proud of, and I will. I could go on forever about him -- how much he meant to me and taught me -- but I will just carry the rest with me in my heart, where he will stay forever."

Capoot was 45. He was the fourth Vallejo police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the past 150 years.

The family sent a message saying the memorial shouldn't be about mourning the loss, but about celebrating his life as it was lived. Capoot's wife Jennifer asked for anyone who sees a police officer to stop them, shake their hand and thank them.

A memorial has been established for Capoot's family. Anyone wishing to contribute can send donations to:

      Officer James Capoot Family Trust
      c/o Vallejo Police Officer's Association
      Sergeant Mark Nicol
      P.O. Box 4218
      Vallejo, CA 94590.

ABC7 has published video of the full memorial in two parts. To view part one, click here; to view part two, click here.

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