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EUGENE, Ore -- It has been seven years since Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen was fatally shot during a traffic stop. Many in the community are still hurting from the loss. However, on April 22, there were two events to remember and honor his life.
The first event took place in one of the conference rooms at EPD headquarters. Police unveiled a memorial in the conference room named after him and numbered 248, which was his badge number.
Police said the memorial attempts to encompass who Kilcullen was both on and off duty. They said he was known as a hero and as a loving husband and father.
KEZI 9 News spoke with Lt. Jennifer Bills, who believes the memorial will allow the community and the department to always remember Kilcullen’s service.
"He was the first line of duty death we've had in decades,” Bills said. “He was well loved, he was one of those warrior spirit men who also had the heart of a servant. He just really embodied the best of who we are as an agency."
In addition to the memorial unveiling, the Eugene Police Benevolent Association Board and Kilcullen's family planted a tree in his honor.
The tree planting ceremony was held on the corner of I-105 and 52nd Street in Springfield, which is the same intersection where Kilcullen was fatally shot during a traffic stop on April 22, 2011.
Kilcullen was 43 and left behind a wife and two daughters. His career with EPD spanned 12 years, where he received more than 85 commendations for his professionalism and positive interactions with the community
KEZI 9 News spoke with Kilcullen's father, John Kilcullen who said he appreciates the more than two dozen people that attended the events Sunday and said he misses his son every day.
"Chris was everything a father could hope to have in a son. His legacy continues,” Kilcullen said. “It's not everybody that is remembered this fondly for seven years after their passing. It just does my heart well to know that he's remembered."
He said he plans on placing some of his son's ashes near the newly planted tree so that he can truly be a part of the tree dedication.