The family of Christopher Wilson, a San Diego police officer who was killed last year in a Skyline-area shootout, accepted a plaque and addressed media Wednesday following an emotional memorial tribute and wreath-laying ceremony.
The memorial took place in downtown outside the SDPD Memorial Monument in front of a predominate crowd of San Diego Police Department staff. Wilson’s name was inscribed on the black-colored rock monument with white letters beneath the names of 30 other fallen officers.
“It's a little bit sad,” said Wilson’s daughter Kaylee, fighting back tears. “I don't want to see my dad's name up there. The only thing I can think of is I hope we don't have to do this again anytime soon, but it's a very nice honor, and I thank everyone who is here.”
Lt. Tim Saelens addressed media prior to the ceremony, a “solemn occasion," he said.
“Officer Wilson was just a wonderful officer and a wonderful person, and we're all going to miss him very much,” Saelens said.
On Oct. 27, Wilson was part of a law enforcement team to enter an apartment at 479 S. Meadowbrook Drive. Police said a man barricaded inside a bedroom shot Wilson in the head after Wilson kicked down the door with three other officers.
Wilson died in a hospital the next day.
Wilson’s ex-wife Tracy said the family has been showered with support since the tragedy.
“We got two condolence cards from Donovan State Prison signed by all of the inmates,” Tracy Wilson said. “So many of them talked about what a difference he made in their life and how they wanted to be better people because of him, so it was pretty impressive.”
Kaylee Wilson said two men have separately approached her to tell her that her father took them off the streets. One of those men said he and Wilson went on to exchange Christmas cards every year.
“I have such big shoes to fill,” said Kaylee, who stood near her brother Conner. “So many people have come forward that I am learning something new about my dad every day because he was so humble that he never told us all of the wonderful things that he did.
"It makes it a little be easier to keep going and keep being a strong family because that's what he would want, and it makes us want to be better people every day."