Exactly one week ago, Steven F. Gaughan mailed an audition tape to the TV show "Survivor."
"He would have been a good 'survivor' because he's competitive enough and mischievous enough," said Janice Tippett, a relative of Gaughan's through marriage. "Everyone wanted to be his friend."
Tippett was among the hundreds of friends, family members and police officers who attended a viewing yesterday in Beltsville for Gaughan, a Prince George's County police officer who was gunned down Tuesday while on duty.
The line of mourners was more than 300 people deep, stretching from the door of the funeral home along Powder Mill Road and around the block.
Gaughan's police cruiser, No. 4039, was parked in front of the funeral home, a black sash draped over its emergency lights and tied across the hood, a baseball cap placed on the dashboard.
Gaughan, 41, killed in a shootout as he pursued a suspect into a Laurel area apartment complex, was the first county police officer shot to death in the line of duty in at least 10 years. His funeral is scheduled for noon today at Riverdale Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro.
Those who knew him described Gaughan -- promoted posthumously from corporal to sergeant -- as devoted to work, family, church and his sports teams.
Cpl. James Murphy of the Prince George's police, who worked with Gaughan from December 1992 to January 1994, remembers him for drug busts and for practical jokes, jokes he said could not be published.
The shooting "shouldn't have happened," Murphy said. "I'm going to miss him very sorely."
Prince George's police Cpl. Tony Mileo, who said he spent more time with Gaughan outside work than on duty, called his friend an avid sports fan. "He had a tattoo on his right thigh with the Red Sox logo on it, and he was getting ready to put a Dolphins tattoo on his left thigh," he said.
His love of sports was no secret to colleagues.
Prince George's police Cpl. Chong Kim brought a dozen or so plastic figurines of Miami Dolphins from their undefeated season in 1972 -- a tribute to Gaughan's love for the team.
But Mileo said Gaughan was as devoted to work as sports. "If we had 1,300 officers like him, our crime wouldn't be where it is."
Maj. Victor Ferreira of Prince George's Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department said Gaughan often would swing by the Beltsville fire station to see how firefighters were doing.
"He'd make fun of you in a way you liked," Ferreira said. "It still hasn't sunken in yet that he's gone."
Linda Shenberger taught his two children at Greenbelt Baptist Church. "He was always hugging them and telling how special they were," she said. "I'm numb. I'm shocked."
Dave Crawford, a neighbor of Gaughan's and a retired Prince George's officer, liked seeing Gaughan's police cruiser in the driveway. "His car was always out front so you knew that if you needed assistance quickly you could go to knock on his door."
Police, firefighters and troopers from across the state sweltered together on the sidewalk as they waited for their chance to pay their respects. A pushcart with bottled water for mourners crawled along the line.
The event drew a firetruck, nine police motorcycles, innumerable police cars and a white-gloved honor guard.
Some, such as Mary Crawford, a neighbor of Gaughan's and a former assistant state's attorney, said they wished it didn't take a police officer's death to draw attention to the dangers of the job.
"We talk a lot about how our soldiers are risking their lives and that's true," Crawford said. "When they get home, they're not going to be under fire anymore, but our police officers are potentially under fire every day of their careers."
Tippett was thoughtful and somber. "We took it for granted that these guys all put their lives on the line every day," she said.