CLEVELAND - The funeral for Cleveland patrol officer Vu Nguyen took place on Thursday. It was an emotional day for family and friends of Officer Nguyen, a man they all described as a family man first, leaving behind two young daughters and a loving wife. He was one of 16 children, and an uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Officer Nguyen was a 25-year law enforcement veteran. His family and his fellow police officers described him as a man they all looked up to, one who made an impact on every person he crossed paths with.
It was standing-room-only inside Our Lady of Angels church in Cleveland. Outside, blue ribbons lined the streets as hundreds stood to pay their respects. Police officers from every corner of Northeast Ohio joined in the procession.
It was a tough day for the City of Cleveland as a beloved officer was laid to rest.
“It’s very emotional,” said resident Robin Schuler. “He’s a young man and he has two young girls and their daddy’s not gonna be there…it’s very emotional.”
Nguyen was known for his love of food and "all-you-can-eat" buffets, a point mentioned in several speeches given by his former partners, family and friends on Thursday. They said he brought joy to everyone he came across and it was impossible to remember him without smiling.
Flags will fly at half-staff in honor of Officer Nguyen until sunrise Friday.
The funeral services began Thursday morning with a procession from Chambers Funeral Home to the funeral at Our Lady of Angels Church on Rocky River Drive. The funeral began at 11 a.m. and was closed to the media.
Funeral procession for Cleveland Police Officer Vu Nguyen. He leaves behind two daughters & a loving wife. pic.twitter.com/bzR82KSbFx
At about 12:15 p.m., the procession continued from the church to Lakewood Park Cemetery for Officer Nguyen’s burial.
According to Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association president Jeff Folmer, Officer Nguyen collapsed Monday, July 2 during K-9 testing. Authorities have not said what caused him to collapse. He died at the hospital on July 6.