Thousands gather to remember Metro officer killed in Strip shooting

LAS VEGAS - Fallen Metro Police Officer Charleston Hartfield left behind a wife and two children, whose pain, along with everyone else who attended the memorial in his honor, was visible Thursday night.

"For every public safety officer, there's a human being behind that," said Jim Dunlap, Hartfield's friend. 

Hartfield, 34, was one of 58 people killed in Sunday night's shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.  The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place on the Strip near the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Thousands of people gathered Thursday night for an emotional candlelight vigil at Police Memorial Park in honor of the man Hartfield was.  There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd. 

"He was amazing. He was a true friend," said Minddie Lloyd from the Injured Police Officer's Fund. "He has a way of making you laugh."

Colleagues of Hartfield said he was the most patriotic person they knew. Many of them even called him Captain America.

Hartfield was a Sgt. 1st class in the Nevada Army National Guard, but in his spare time, he was also a youth football coach with the Henderson Cowboys.

"He's more of a hands-on type of guy," said Christian Terry, one of his players.  "He helped players individually. He loved every single one of us. 

Officer Harfield's death is still a hard pill for Terry and many other players to swallow.

"At first, I didn't believe it. I was like 'no, he's going to pull through' and then we found out. I lost it. I couldn't believe it."

Hartfield's death was spurred by hate. It was sudden and tragic. But, this local hero, Captain America as his colleagues called him, won't be remembered for that.  Hartfield was the opposite of the shooter. He was a person full of love, honor, and warmth, and that's how he'll always be remembered.


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