Hundreds say final farewell to fallen officer Daryl Raetz - KCTV5

Hundreds say final farewell to fallen officer Daryl Raetz

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Hundreds of people gathered at Christ Church of the Valley to grieve alongside family and friends of officer Daryl Raetz.

During Saturday's service, Lt. Chris Moore called him a patriot. He said it was a fitting tribute that his funeral fell on Memorial Day weekend.

Raetz was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a hit-and-run driver during a traffic stop near 51st Ave. and Cambridge.

Raetz's father told the congregation his son was proud to be an American. He said that's why he dedicated his life to serving his country as a Navy corpsman and later his community as an officer for the Phoenix Police Department.

One of Raetz's supervisors called him an exceptional police officer and one of the bravest men he had ever known.

"He was an even dude. Calm, yet he had this inner Evel Knievel that we all knew existed," said Moore.

It was that adventurous side of Raetz that gave Detective Jeff Clement had many fond memories. The two had been best friends since the fifth grade and eventually both ended up working for Phoenix P.D.

Clement said Raetz was a dedicated family man who deeply loved his wife and 5-year-old daughter.

He called him fearless but never foolish.

"He was constantly getting injured doing the things he loved whether that was getting airlifted out of the dunes or patrolling the streets of Phoenix," said Det. Clement.

Raetz's younger brother broke down when he spoke about their bond.

"I looked up to Daryl for everything. I will still be looking up to you, Daryl. Just now I have to feel your answers in the breeze," said Derek Raetz.

Raetz served two tours of duty in Iraq. He received numerous awards for his service. That carried over to his career with Phoenix Police Department where continued to be a leader receiving accommodations for his work.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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