Police officers mourn Woodburn bomb victim

Police officers mourn Woodburn bomb victim »Play Video
Law enforcement officers from several agencies carry the flag draped casket of Woodburn Capt. Tom Tennant into his memorial service at the Salem Armory in Salem, Ore. on Friday Dec. 19, 2008.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - With bagpipes playing and a light snow falling, hundreds of law enforcement officers from around Oregon gathered Friday to mourn Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant, killed a week ago in a bank bombing.

A procession that police estimate contained 300 to 400 law enforcement vehicles crawled at 20 mph along snow-packed state highways Friday from Woodburn, where Tennant served 28 years.

At the Salem Armory, six officers carried the flag-draped casket from a hearse into the auditorium. They were followed into the auditorium by Tennant's widow, three children and other family members.

A memorial service for a second officer killed in the bombing, Senior Trooper William Hakim of the Oregon State Police, is scheduled Saturday.

A father and son have been accused of killing them. Woodburn's police chief, Scott Russell, was critically injured. Authorities haven't publicly discussed a motive in the case, which left Oregon's law enforcement community in grief this holiday season.

Besides law enforcement officials, friends and government leaders - including Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski - offered testimonials to Tennant as a dedicated police office, loving husband and father and community volunteer.

Todd Pynch, who's a full-time chaplain to law enforcement agencies throughout the Willamette Valley, said one of the slain officer's favorite possessions was a John Wayne coffee mug with the inscription: "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."

"There are things and events in law enforcement that are very scary," Pynch said. "Tom saddled up, and he went forward with his fellow officers to defeat the evil in this world."

Tennant and Hakim, both 51, were instantly killed in the blast, trying to open a green metal box they had concluded was a fake explosive device. Russell, the Woodburn police chief, lost a leg and is listed in critical condition.

Kulongoski, at Friday's memorial service, asked Oregonians to pray for Russell's recovery and for the families of slain officers.

"Capt. Tennant and Trooper Hakim have given their all to safeguard our state and our communities, and for that we will be forever grateful," the governor said at the service, which had all of the hallmarks of a full military funeral, including a 21-gun salute outside, the playing of "Amazing Grace" by bagpipers and presentation of a folded American flag to Tennant's widow.

Police arrested Bruce Turnidge, 57, on Tuesday, two days after arresting his son, 32-year-old Joshua Turnidge at his home in Salem, 15 miles north of the farm house. Both are due back in court Dec. 26.

Prosecutors are still refusing to say what they think the motive for the bombing might have been, or who planned it.

Meanwhile, Friday's police procession involved so many police cars that it stretched for nearly five miles at one point, said Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings.

Along the route, as the hearse and accompanying police cars drove past, "there were little kids standing there, holding their hands over their heart," Hastings said.

"And I saw one teenager with a sign that read, `We will miss you Capt. Tom,' " the state police spokesman said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)