ADAMS, Mass. – The flag-draped casket of U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans was carried into a Massachusetts church on Thursday by his fellow Capitol officers as dozens of state police troopers stood in the street in a steady downpour and saluted.
Evans was killed this month when a driver struck him and another officer at a barricade outside the U.S. Senate in Washington.
The private funeral Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Adams was followed early Thursday afternoon by a procession to Bellevue Cemetery — where Evans was to be laid to rest beside his father, Howard.
Hundreds of police officers from department across the region lined up outside the church before the Mass under a U.S. flag held aloft by an Adams Fire Department ladder truck. Several residents stood under umbrellas nearby and gathered on the streets for the funeral procession to the cemetery to say goodbye to the officer whose death has shaken the small communities in the northwest corner of the state.
Evans, 41, was raised in North Adams and Clarksburg and was a graduate of Drury High School and Western New England University in Springfield.
North Adams has about 14,000 residents, Adams 8,500, and Clarksburg has only about 1,700. Everybody knows just about everyone else in town, and if they don’t know them, they still share a hometown bond.
“This poor young man lost his life serving his country,” Adams resident Judy McConnell, who said she knows Evans’ mother, told The Berkshire Eagle. “His mother’s heart must be broken. Coming out is the right thing to do to respect people who put their lives on the line every day.”
“It shouldn’t have happened but it did,” Adams resident Greg Trottier told The Boston Globe. “Everybody was in shock. In a big city or something like that it’s different, but when it happens somewhere like here — it’s just terrible. I didn’t personally know him, but I’m just here to pay my respects.”