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'It's a huge absence' | Community event held to pay tribute to IMPD Officer Breann Leath

The IMPD officer was killed in the line of duty two years ago.

SOUTHPORT, Ind. — An event at Southport High School Wednesday honored the memory of fallen IMPD Officer Breann Leath.

Breann was once a student at Southport, and it's the same place where the community came together Wednesday evening to pay tribute and to thank her family for her sacrifice, two years after she was killed in the line of duty. 

"It is for those reasons, as much as her final act of service, that she remains an inspiration to all of us and will forever so," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said.

Fellow officers, military veterans and members of the community gathered in the school auditorium to show Breann's family, including her 5-year-old son, Zayn, how much she meant to them and this city. 

The family was presented a $20,000 check, funds that will be added to a trust fund for Zayn. 

"I was working the night, the day Breann was shot and killed, and I felt needed I needed to help in any way I could," said Ofc. Ronald Capps, a Perry Township K-9 officer. 

RELATED: 'Beautiful soul' | Remembering Ofc. Breann Leath 2 years after being fatally shot in line of duty

Capps, who didn't know Breann, spearheaded efforts to collect money for Zayn. 

"Everybody wanted to help," Capps said, which includes Deputy Chief Tony Ardizzone, a Marion County Sheriff's Office officer who works with Breann's father and who donated half of the money raised. 

RELATED: Southport memorial bench dedicated in memory of 3 hometown heroes

"I just can't even imagine losing one of my children," Ardizzone said

It's a reality Breann's parents, Jennifer and Tommy Leath, live with every day. 

"Our new normal is just trying to navigate, trying not to focus on the woulda, coulda, shoulda and the fact that she's not here because it's a huge absence and everyone that knows her feels it," Jennifer said.

"Our job is to help him [Zayn] grow into a respectable young man, and so with the community doing things with this trust fund, donations like that, we're honored for that," Tommy said.

Beyond the financial help for Zayn, the Leaths are thankful the community has not forgotten their daughter. They hope those whose lives she touched will let her son know that someday, helping him to know the mother he lost at such a young age. 

"He needs to hear stories, not just from us, but from people that she really affected," Jennifer said. 

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