On Friday morning family, friends and colleagues gathered to bid a final farewell to South Windsor Police Sergeant Matthew Mainieri, who was killed over the weekend.
He was off duty at the time, trying to break up a fight in South Carolina.
The body of Sgt. Mainieri was escorted with large first responder motorcade from the South Windsor Police Department to the First Cathedral in Bloomfield for a service at 10:00 a.m.
Sgt. Mainieri was not on duty at the time of his death, but that didn’t stop him from trying to defuse a violent situation down in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night.
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Police say the 41-year-old was trying to break up a fight inside a bar and was hit in the head. He suffered injuries he could not recover from, and died the next day.
A 21-year-old from South Carolina is now charged with involuntary manslaughter.
South Windsor Deputy Chief Scott Custer told mourners at Friday’s service that Mainieri’s cuffs were sent to South Carolina to be used with the suspect.
“We sent Matt’s handcuffs down….and that’s what that individual wore. But today is really about celebrating Matt’s life, and the lives he touched.”
Police down south continue their investigation into what happened.
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Sgt. Mainieri was born and raised in Vermont, but moved to Connecticut in 1996. He was with the South Windsor Police Department for 20 years.
He was highly respected and decorated officer. He held a number of different roles within the department, rising in rank over the years.
He was also honored with the Medal of Valor, the Chief’s Award, and a lifesaving award during his time on the force.
He leaves behind a mother, a sister, two nephews and his girlfriend.
After today’s service, there’s another one scheduled for Tuesday in Vermont, where he will also be buried. It was also revealed Friday morning that Mainieri’s organs will be donated.
Web Extra: Listen to the final radio call for Sgt. Matthew Mainieri