AUSTIN (KXAN) - For the second time in a year and a half, the Austin Police Department said farewell to one of its own.
Lt. Clay Crabb, who was killed in a car wreck on his way to work last week, was laid to rest Monday after a formal funeral service in South Austin.
An estimated 2,000 mourners filled Bannockburn Baptist Church in South Austin for the service were Police Chief Art Acevedo and Mayor Lee Leffingwell were among the speakers.
Mayor Leffingwell commended Crabb for being willing to give his life for a job he believed in. He said Crabb is being mourned by the entire community, not just APD.
Acevedo promised the officer's widow and her family that he would be a constant fixture in their lives, to make sure they have everything they need. Already this weekend, the police chief spent time with the Crabb children and had them in a squad car. He said the kids enjoyed the time talking about their dad, and referred to their father as "awesome".
Crabb's partner, Ken Casady, also spoke at the funeral, and said Crabb was calm, cool and collected in the face of danger. Casady said he will miss Crabb's dry sense of humor, and said Crabb often enjoyed trying to act serious to Casady, when in fact, he was telling a joke.
The eulogy was given by Lt. Crabb's younger sister, Holly Crabb Osbourn. She said she will miss her brother dearly, and shared some funny moments of them growing up together.
She was proud of him becoming a decorated police officer, but found it ironic that he had actually passed out as a child when he witnessed their aunt pierce her ears in front of Clay.
She told the full church that their mother died last year of cancer, and that she finds peace knowing Clay is now with her in Heaven.
Crabb's flag-draped casket was at the front of the church, flanked by wreaths and family photos.
The chief reminded the department that all members have an ongoing responsibility to help Crabb's family in the days and weeks ahead.
Inside the church, officers in uniform and mourners in civilian clothes dabbed tears as speakers talk about Crabbm his wife and their three children. Some mixed smiles with tears as the officer's sister talked about happy times growing up and how he developed from a devoted brother to an equally devoted husband and dad.
On Sunday, friends and family of the veteran aw enforcement officer attended his visitation. Crabb would have turned 43 last Thursday, one day after his death.
"I worked my first five years on patrol with Clay," said Det. Ken Casaday. "It was great times and he was a great partner and I'll always remember him."
A steady stream of blue walked up to the visitation Sunday.
"All almost 1,800 of us see this and I had just seen him the day before... And then the next day I heard [that he was killed]. It just really makes you put things into perspective on what's important," said Downtown APD Commander Jason Dusterhoft. "This experience I think it's all taught us we really want to do that everyday, what he did."
The funeral Monday will have one aspect in common with the last time an Austin Police Officer was killed in the line of duty.
Like Officer Jaime Padron, who was shot while responding to a shoplifting call in April 2012, Lt. Crabb also worked for the San Angelo Police Department before coming to Austin.
At the request of Austin Police, KXAN News will have a camera inside Lt. Crabb's funeral service and will stream it live on KXAN.com.
Funeral information for Lt. Crabb:
- Funeral: Monday 10 a.m. at Bannockburn Baptist Church, 7100 Brodie Lane
- Burial immediately following services at Forest Oaks Cemetery
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.