Indianapolis pays tribute to fallen officer
Flags are flying at half-staff in honor of Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Perry Renn, who was shot and killed Saturday night in the line of duty.
Outside IMPD's North District headquarters, Officer Renn's patrol car is already adorned with flowers and stuffed animals left by well-wishers.
A steady stream of people stopped by Sunday afternoon, some with flowers, some with cards. Many paused for a few moments. There were tears and silence. A common sentiment spoken over and over again - "We wanted to come and say thank you for your service; thank you for your sacrifice."
"What happened to this gentleman last night, he didn't deserve it. His family didn't deserve it," said Dave Coy of Indianapolis. "But I want to stop by and say a very special prayer for him and his family."
There were a few police officers who stopped - some with their families - but what was so remarkable was that most people didn't know Officer Renn. They never had contact with him. They just felt compelled to let IMPD know - maybe most importantly to let Officer Renn's family know - that people care and people recognize this tremendous and selfless sacrifice.
Meanwhile, another patriotic display and memorial has been erected at the entrance to Ofc. Renn's southside neighborhood.
"He was just a good neighbor. He was just a good all-around guy," said Sabrina Young, a neighbor who is acting as a Renn family spokesperson.
Renn was known to help shovel sidewalks and driveways in the winter, someone who had a special affinity for his dogs.
"He's just gonna be missed," Young said.
"I didn't even know him personally, but it's just very, very sad," said Amber Lamar. "Indianapolis is just-- I can't even describe. I used to love my city and now it's just heartbreaking."
A man came to pray in silence. A young boy stood still out of respect. One after another, mostly strangers came with flowers, including 12-year-old Kellen Bridgeforth and his uncle Mike Wilkerson.
"An officer leaves his home [Saturday] and never returns. It's just a very unfortunate situation. And it just has to be healed and people have to come together and try to resolve the problems in the community. And that's our take on it. And we just wanted to pay our respects."
"It's just very uplifting to them to know that the public thought that much of somebody that probably the majority of them never knew," said Young. "So that really means a lot to them."
An entire community understanding that while a police officer has died, a small part of them is gone, too.
"It puts a hole in our community that can never be filled. And we can't fix-- We've got to figure out how to fix this," Young said.
Officer Renn was appointed to the Indianapolis Police Department on December 27, 1993. He worked as a street patrol officer his entire career serving the East and North Districts. He was awarded the Medal of Bravery in 2003 and received a Letter of Commendation in 2012 for his efforts during the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse. He has also received several letters of appreciation from his supervisors.
Post your memorial below, or click here to post it on IMPD's page.
FOP President Bill Owensby remembered Renn as a brave officer who chose to stay in the north district.
"To my knowledge, his entire career was spent in that neighborhood where he didn't have to work," Owensby pointed out. "Seniority plays a lot of role in the police department as to where you work and what shift you work. He didn't have to be there, but he chose to be. And he chose to be there because that's where he wanted to work. He was very well thought of by his peers and he will be sadly missed."