SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Hundreds of law enforcement officers and Oregon leaders paid tribute Saturday to Senior Trooper William Hakim, calling him one of the best in the dangerous business of disarming bombs.
At a memorial service in Salem, many cited Hakim's 20 years as an underwater demolitions expert for the Navy who put himself back in harm's way by joining the Oregon State Police bomb section.
"It takes extraordinary courage to put on the uniform of a bomb technician," said Colleen Domenesh, a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent and friend of Hakim.
Then, directly addressing Hakim's widow, Terri, and the couple's two children, she said, "Your father was a great state trooper and he was an extraordinary bomb technician."
Domenesh was among mourning law enforcement officers who came from as far away as Michigan, Florida and New Mexico to honor Hakim. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police sent representatives to the ceremony, which was held at the Salem Armory auditorium.
Hakim was killed Dec. 12 along with Woodburn Police Capt. Tom Tennant when a bomb exploded at a West Coast Bank branch in Woodburn. The blast also critically injured Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell.
A father and son, Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, have been arrested and charged with aggravated murder in the bombing. Prosecutors so far haven't publicly discussed a motive in the case.
Hakim and Tennant were killed while trying to open what Hakim believed to be a hoax bomb. The device, in a green metal box, was found outside the bank and taken into the bank by Hakim, who planned to dismantle it for evidence.
State police officials have deferred any comment on the handling of the bomb until after a multiagency investigation is completed.
At Saturday's memorial, friends and colleagues remembered Hakim as a courageous bomb disposal expert, devoted family man and volunteer who loved coaching youth soccer teams.
John Hallock, an FBI special agent and bomb technician who worked with Hakim for five years, said after being notified about the bomb threat in Woodburn, he immediately got in touch with Hakim.
"On Dec. 12, I had the privilege to work with Bill one last time," Hallock said. "I made one call, and that was to my friend Bill, knowing that he would be available and that he would be there for me. Bill always wanted to do this job. He never said no. He never complained."
Gov. Ted Kulongoski noted the unusually cold and bitter winter weather that has gripped Oregon in the week since Hakim was killed in the line of duty.
"The blowing wind and biting cold do not feel out of place ... not when our hearts are filled with pain and sadness that a man of supreme grace and courage has been taken from us by an act of supreme cowardice," Kulongoski said.
He urged Hakim's friends and colleagues not to be consumed by thoughts of revenge against the alleged perpetrators.
"The system will run its course; and justice will be done - I am certain of that," Kulongoski said.