Funeral of Illinois police officer draws hundreds of mourners

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Hundreds of Officers Attend Funeral for Fallen Lieutenant

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Illinois on Monday for the funeral of police officer Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who was shot last week while pursuing three suspects who are still on the loose.

Police officers from nearby towns were among those who filled the Antioch Community High School auditorium to pay last respects to Gliniewicz, an officer for the village of Fox Lake in northwestern Illinois. Two overflow rooms were also nearly full.

"The nation now knows he's a hero," his brother Michael Gliniewicz, a member of the Antioch Fire Department, told mourners.

See images from Charles Joseph Gliniewicz's funeral:

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Funeral of Illinois police officer draws hundreds of mourners
Jeff Jacobs of the Illinois State Police and Leroy Pugesek of the Lake County Sheriff's Office hug outside the funeral of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. The man in the maroon beret is Lt. Gliniewicz's son. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Hundreds of people get in line to pay their respects to slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend Gliniewicz's visitation and funeral today. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Ron Flug, foreground, ride captain of the Patriot Guards leads the group to Antioch High School for the funeral of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers salute the casket of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz as it is wheeled into Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. (Brian Nguyen/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Covered in an American flag, the casket of slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz arrives at Antioch Community High School on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in Antioch, Ill. Thousands of police officers and residents are expected to attend his funeral later this morning at the school. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
A memorial is in place at the Fox Lake Police Department on Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Police are searching for a second day to locate three suspects in the killing of Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Tara England of Ingleside and her 11 year-old son pray in front of the memorial for slain Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph 'G.I. Joe' Gliniewicz on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Fox Lake, Ill. Three suspects still remain at large and a manhunt is underway in the area. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
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Outside the high school, hundreds of people lined the sun-washed streets to watch the funeral procession. They held American flags and tied blue ribbons around their wrists as a tribute to Gliniewicz.

Some held homemade signs saying: "Rest in Peace, Joe." Two fire-truck ladders held a large U.S. flag that waved in the wind.

Gliniewicz, a decorated 30-year veteran of the Fox Lake Police Department and the father of four boys who was known as "G.I. Joe," was killed on Tuesday. He was 52.

The suspects are believed by authorities to be two white men and a black man. They have eluded a manhunt that has drawn hundreds of police officers and investigators into Fox Lake, about 60 miles northwest of Chicago.

Police officers who spoke at the podium described Gliniewicz as a coffee lover who always had a smile on his lips and wanted to make a positive difference.

"Rest easy, my friend, we got it from here," said Jeff Dalton from the nearby Frankfort Police Department.

An 18-mile procession beginning after Gliniewicz's funeral will wind from Antioch through Lake County via Fox Lake and then return to Antioch. It will end at Hillside East Cemetery, where Gliniewicz will be buried.

Gliniewicz retired as a first sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve and his awards as a police officer included a medal of valor. He also was involved in a youth law enforcement training program for about a decade.

Police have released few details of the encounter that led to Gliniewicz's killing, except to say he was pursuing three suspects on foot in a remote area when he was shot.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Paul Simao and Peter Cooney)

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