Rapid City community gathers to honor a hero

Hundreds of people packed the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City on Sunday to pay their respects, reflect on the life and honor the man they call a hero, slain police officer James Ryan McCandless.

Police Chief Steve Allender told the crowd at the funeral Sunday that McCandless showed bravery and selflessness “in a way we can all be proud of.”

He also praised everyone in the community for their support, saying he had never seen anything like it in his life.

Since Tuesday’s deadly shooting, Allender said “the cards, letters, facebook posts, personal visits, the t-shirt sales, the ribbon sales, sticker sales and wrist band sales” flowed in, all in support of McCandless and the two other officers involved in the North Rapid shooting.

Pastor Greg Blanc of Calvary Chapel Community Church prayed for people to experience peace, while others spoke of McCandless’s devotion and passion for his job.

McCandless will be buried tomorrow at the Midland City Cemetery in Midland, Michigan.

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