DALLAS, JAN. 26 -- Thousands of law officers, their badges masked in black, ringed a Baptist church and packed a sanctuary today to mourn a policeman killed by a deranged vagrant.
"We're hurting this morning, O God. We don't understand the tragedy of this man whose life was taken from him because of the uniform he wears," Sgt. Carroll Pruitt prayed before the lawmen, who ranged from marshals to paramedics to park rangers.
Meanwhile, thousands of Dallas residents offered a silent show of support for the police department as they drove to work with headlights on. A group of homeless people marched this afternoon to back police, while other citizens scheduled a candlelight vigil.
Chase, 25, died Saturday in a downtown parking lot when a man who lived on the streets wrestled his gun away and, ignoring the officer's pleas for mercy, shot him three times in the face. Carl Dudley Williams, 34, then walked away, firing a shot at two pursuing off-duty officers, and was killed in a hail of return gunfire.
Billionaire businessman H. Ross Perot and oilman Ray Hunt have offered planes to transport officers to Chase's funeral Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. Fort Worth-based American Airlines was to fly the officer's body and family members, including his wife of three months, to Iowa, where her family lives.