De­tec­tive killed in stand­off laid to rest

Cler­mont County of­fi­cer, a 20-year vet­eran, died Feb. 2.

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - WCPO.com

BATAVIA — A Cler­mont County deputy who was killed in the line of duty was laid to rest Fri­day.

De­tec­tive Bill Brewer, a 20-year vet­eran of the Cler­mont County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice, was shot and killed in a stand­off in Pierce Town­ship on Feb. 2. Brewer leaves be­hind a wife and a 5-year-old son.

Brewer’s fu­neral ser­vices were held Mt. Carmel Chris­tian Church.

Sher­iff Steve Leahy said he was “dev­as­tated” by Brewer’s death.

“How can I not be, when I know that Bill’s fam­ily is not OK, and my staff is not OK?” he said.

Leahy praised Brewer, say­ing he would have wanted Brewer to be the one who re­sponded if his own fam­ily mem­bers were ever in need. He thanked all the other first re­spon­ders who also worked the Pierce Town­ship stand­off, and all those who have of­fered sup­port since.

“Bill is gone from us to­day, but his life and ser­vice will never be for­got­ten,” Leahy said.

The sher­iff also harshly ad­dressed Brewer’s al­leged killer, Wade Winn, who is be­ing held in the Cler­mont County Jail.

Winn, 23, shot Brewer and Lt. Nick DeRose as they en­tered his apart­ment on Feb. 2, po­lice said. Brewer and DeRose went into the build­ing be­cause they be­lieved Winn was sui­ci­dal.

“Deputy Brewer gave his life at­tempt­ing to help a per­son who was ad­mit­tedly sui­ci­dal,” Leahy said in a state­ment. “This will for­ever change the at­mos­phere of the Cler­mont County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice.”

DeRose was treated and re­leased from Univer­sity of Cincin­nati Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

Pros­e­cu­tors will seek the death penalty for Winn, Cler­mont County Chief Crim­i­nal Pros­e­cu­tor Dar­ren Miller said at Winn’s ar­raign­ment Mon­day. Winn’s at­tor­ney said he has a men­tal dis­abil­ity.

Leahy was one of the many Cler­mont County of­fi­cials in court Mon­day. He said Brewer’s death has had a pro­found im­pact on the depart­ment.

“Bill was an out­stand­ing man. Twenty years. He was a good father. A good hus­band. A good friend. A good em­ployee,” Leahy said. “He’s what this coun­try needs more of. Some dirt bag has taken this away from ev­ery­body.”

As the fu­neral pro­ces­sion wound its way to Pierce Town­ship Ceme­tery on Fri­day, it passed hun­dreds of peo­ple who lines the roads with blue rib­bons and Amer­i­can flags.

Jen­nifer Harcourt was among the on­look­ers. She said she went to high school with Brewer for a year.

“He was a great guy,” she said.

Sarah Gad­bury also watched the pro­ces­sion go­ing by, hold­ing a sign that read, “Hon­or­ing the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.” She’s friends with DeRose, and they are the god­par­ents of each other’s chil­dren.

“It’s sort of sur­real,” she said. “It’s good to see all the peo­ple who came out to sup­port our law en­force­ment and the peo­ple who put their lives on the lines ev­ery day.”

Linda Rathbone watched the pro­ces­sion from the Wil­fert Drive over­pass.

“It’s a tragedy,” she said. “It’s heart­break­ing.”

The com­mu­nity has ral­lied in sup­port of Brewer in the days af­ter his death. Hun­dreds of peo­ple, in­clud­ing Gov. Mike DeWine, at­tended Brewer’s pub­lic visi­ta­tion on Thurs­day.

A for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer who now owns a T-shirt shop is print­ing shirts to raise money for Brewer’s fam­ily. Wil­liams­burg Mid­dle School and High School is host­ing a spaghetti din­ner fundraiser from 3 to 7 p.m. Satur­day.

JOHN MINCHILLO / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The cas­ket of De­tec­tive Bill Brewer, a 20-year vet­eran of the Cler­mont County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, is brought out of Mt. Carmel Chris­tian Church dur­ing fu­neral ceremonies Fri­day in Batavia. Au­thor­i­ties in the Cincin­nati re­gion are reel­ing af­ter the deaths of five po­lice of­fi­cers in less than two months.

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