Community members, city leaders and people from across the county honored the life of Officer Christopher Wilson at a candlelight vigil at Skyview Park on Monday, at 6:00 p.m.
Wilson, a 17-year veteran of the force, died Thursday, October 28, from wounds suffered in a shootout with suspects holed up inside an apartment in the Skyline area.
The vigil was put on by members of a community group called Project Safeway. The group is made up of volunteers who monitor and ensure the safety of neighborhood children as they walk to school. Williams was a familiar sight to the volunteers.
"He was a great officer and a great friend," said vigil coordinator Tosha Williamson. "He was beyond his title as an officer, he was a human being."
The Wilson family, city officials and police officers from across the state attended the event, to honor Officer Wilson.
Tracy Wilson, Officer Wilson's ex-wife said, "When they asked us to turn around and I looked and saw all the people behind us...I had no idea there was going to be so many people, especially from the community. It's nice to see that he had made a difference in the community and it really touched our hearts."
Kaylee Wilson, Officer Wilson's daughter spoke to the crowd. "From myself and from my family, thank you all so much for being here. It means the world to us."
Around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, October 27, Wilson was with a team of law enforcement officers who entered one of the apartments at 479 S. Meadowbrook Drive. According to police, a man barricaded himself in another room of the apartment. As officers started to force entry into the bedroom, multiple shots were fired according to police. One of the shots struck Wilson.
"I just heard a bunch of gunshots," said Ryan Davis, a tenant whose unit is directly below the suspect's. "There was about nine cops they were basically at the doorway."
Davis said he saw Officer Wilson being pulled from the apartment complex by other officers.
"I just seen them carrying him down the stairs," said Davis. "Complete shock at what was going on."
Another resident, identified as Luis, told The Associated Press he was in the apartment downstairs with his wife and two small children when he heard gunfire.
"I just hear like a big 'boom!', then they exchanged some words, then I heard 'Officer down! Officer down!,"' he said.
Luis said he rushed to his window and saw police carrying another officer with a blood-covered neck and face down the stairs.
Just before 7:00 AM on Thursday morning SWAT officers entered the home and found the suspect and his girlfriend dead inside a bedroom.
“There are few things harder in life than the loss of a brother,” Brian R. Marvel, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) said in a news release. “Officer Wilson displayed bravery, courage and a commitment to protecting San Diegans from a dangerous individual. His family and many friends are in our thoughts and prayers. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
The SDPOA has set up a trust fund for Officer Wilson's family. Checks can be made payable to the SDPOA Charity Fund. Write Officer Wilson in the memo line. Any donations (100%) will go directly to the family. Donations can be mailed to SDPOA, 8388 Vickers Street, San Diego, CA 92111.