NBC10Philadelphia.com - Denise Nakano
Friends, family, and fellow officers said goodbye to Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo at a public viewing Thursday night. The 23-year veteran of the force was killed in a head-on collision on I-95 near Cottman Avenue. NBC10's Denise Nakano was at Thursday night's wake, where those close to Officer Lorenzo say he had an enormous impact on everyone around him.
Hundreds gathered Thursday night to bid farewell to a fallen hero. A public wake was held for Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo, killed in a car accident on I-95 last weekend.
Philadelphia Police Officers marched from Archbishop Ryan Catholic School to the Givnish Funeral Home in solidarity, offering condolences and support to Lorenzo’s family.
“It’s a very difficult time and words really can’t express the emotions that you’re dealing with,” said Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross.
Officer Lorenzo’s wife and three children, ages 24, 22 and 4 sat in silence before making their way into the funeral home.
“He was the epitome of a good cop and a great human being,” said Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jonathan Josey. “That’s what a lot of people forget, the humanistic side of being a cop.”
Jimmy Binns, the President of Hero Thrill Show, spoke about the impact Officer Lorenzo had as the co-captain of the highway patrol motorcycle drill team.
“He was a great rider, a better teacher, a wonderful police officer and an excellent human being, husband and father,” said Binns.
Lorenzo, a 23-year veteran of the force, was killed by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday. Police say 47-year-old John Leck, Jr. of Levittown was driving the wrong way when he crashed head on with Officer Lorenzo.
Leck was hospitalized in the accident and underwent foot surgery on Monday. On Tuesday he was arraigned in his hospital bed and charged with Third Degree Murder, Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence, Aggravated Assault, Homicide by Vehicle and Involuntary Manslaughter.
During today’s viewing, Mayor Michael Nutter made a plea to all Philadelphians to keep Officer Lorenzo’s family in their thoughts and prayers.
“When I talk to Brian’s wife, when I see his children and when I look at them, I know my duty is to be strong for them because they really suffered the worst loss,” said Nutter.
On Friday, a second viewing will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 1723 Race Street. Mayor Michael Nutter and family members will begin speaking at 11:15 a.m. Officer Lorenzo's funeral mass begins at noon.
The Fraternal Order of Police has set up a fund to help Officer Lorenzo's family. Donations can be made at any Police and Fire Federal Credit Union branch in the name of "Brian Lorenzo Memorial Fund."