Hundreds lit up LaSalle Park as tribute to fallen officer Lehner

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds of people gathered at LaSalle Park Thursday night for a tribute to fallen officer Craig Lehner.

Scott Hemperly organized the tribute on Facebook. He served with Lehner years ago.

“It’s horrible when anybody dies, but when you know them personally and hear all the stories attributed to him and everybody that knew him in the community, everyone is dealing with it in their own way and this is my way of dealing with it,” said Hemperly.

Hemperly encouraged everyone who came to the tribute to wear blue and to bring blue lights.

The waterfront was all lit in blue as hundreds came dressed in blue, waiving blue line flags and carrying blue neon lights.

Loved ones spoke about their memories of Lehner and the qualities they’ll miss most about him.

“He would go above and beyond for anyone to do anything and if he told you he was going to do something, he meant it,” kind words from a loved one.

“You always knew you had a friend and someone to go to if you needed help and someone to look up to and someone to strive to be, you either wanted to be friends with Craig or be Craig,” words from Lehner’s friend.

Lehner’s cousin also performed an emotional rendition of the National Anthem to kick off the tribute.

A lot of the people who took part said they never met the fallen officer, but wanted to pay their respects and show support for the Lehner family and the law enforcement community.

“It’s awesome to see everybody come together and realize the sacrifice these guys make everyday and come together for those that knew him and the family, it’s nice to see us come together,” said Patrick Hoar, Buffalo resident.

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