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Funeral procession for fallen Philadelphia police officer Richard Mendez arrives at Basilica

By Jasmine Payoute, Joe Holden, Scott Hezlep, Fletcher Rumbaugh

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    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (KYW) — Philadelphia on Tuesday will say goodbye to Richard Mendez, a father, friend and police officer who was shot and killed more than 10 days ago at a Philadelphia International Airport parking garage.

The funeral procession left John F. Givnish Funeral Home around 6 a.m. and arrived shortly before 7 a.m. at Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and Paul in Logan Square. There will be a viewing beginning at 8 a.m. at Basilica until about 11:30 a.m. The funeral will follow at 12 p.m. CBS News Philadelphia will stream the services beginning at 11:45 a.m. when speakers are expected to begin.

The city expects a big show of support on Tuesday for Mendez. The first of two viewings was held Monday at Givnish Funeral Home in Northeast Philadelphia, where family, friends and fellow police officers paid their respects.

Mendez was with the Philadelphia Police Department for 22 years. He leaves behind a wife and daughter. His service to the people of Philadelphia included years in the east division of the city and at the airport, where he was killed while interrupting four suspects who were trying to steal a car.

His partner, officer Raul Ortiz, survived.

Police have made three arrests in connection with the shooting.

The department said the loss of Mendez is one that will be felt for some time.

“It’s a very unforgiving job and listen, it’s one of the things that is a reality of it. You know it when you sign up for it,” interim police commissioner John Stanford said. “But no one wants to think that this will become an outcome for anyone.”

“This is unfortunate. It’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen again, it’s a matter of when,” John McNesby, president of FOP Lodge No. 5, said. “And when this does happen, they’ve gained an additional 12,000 family members.”

Mendez’s daughter Mia is expected to speak Tuesday, along with Sanford and Mayor Jim Kenney.

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