MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis police officer who was shot while responding to a confrontation at a library was remembered at his funeral Tuesday as a strong, proud and dedicated U.S. Marine and public servant.
Officer Geoffrey Redd, 49, died on Feb. 18, two weeks after the shooting at the Poplar-White Station Library.
Redd served in the Marine Corps before joining the Memphis Police Department in 2008. Redd worked in crisis intervention and trained fellow officers, colleagues said. He also was director of security at his church, the Greater Community Temple of the Church of God in Christ.
Redd, a husband and father, was honored Monday evening with a “Sea of Blue,” in which law enforcement officers rode around Memphis with their vehicle lights turned on.
At his funeral Tuesday at Hope Church, pastors read from the Bible and strong-voiced singers performed religious anthems, backed by a choir.
James Patrick Riley, who served with Redd in the Marines, said that although Redd was not the biggest person, he was his unit’s strongest Marine. Riley also recalled that Redd smiled a lot.
“I couldn’t be grumpy around him,” Riley said.
Lt. Tara Sloan of the West Point Police Department in Mississippi said she was a good friend of Redd’s and she would remember him for his “dignity, dedication, spirituality and character.” Friends and relatives called him a man of God who was set to complete a course in religious teaching this year.
In the library shooting, officers responded to a trespassing call after a man started a confrontation with another person in the building. When officers attempted to talk with him, he pulled out a weapon and fired, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said.
Redd was hit. His partner returned fire, killing the suspect.
Employees and patrons were in the library at the time, but no one else was hurt, according to the TBI.
During the funeral, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said Redd and his partner showed heroism in the confrontation.
“I have no doubt that the ultimate sacrifice of this one precious life saved the lives of others who on that dreadful day were also in harm’s way,” Davis said.