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Gov. Hickenlooper tells Flick family: Entire state grieving with you

Author: Ernest Luning - February 10, 2018 - Updated: February 15, 2018

The casket bearing the body of El Paso County Dep. Micah Flick arrives at New Life Church before the funeral for the deputy on Saturday. February 10, 2018. Flick was killed in the line of duty on Monday, February 5, 2018. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Gov. John Hickenlooper was among dozens of officials and thousands of mourners who gathered Saturday at New Life Church in Colorado Springs to remember El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick, who was killed in the line of duty Monday in a shooting that wounded three other law enforcement officers and a civilian.

“The entire state is grieving with you,” Hickenlooper said from the pulpit to Flick’s widow, Rachael, and 7-year-old twins Eliana and Levi. “Colorado is better off because of your father, and he will be sorely, sorely missed.”

After the service, with bagpipes from the solemn processional still echoing in the halls of the enormous church, Hickenlooper called it a “sad, sad day, not just for Colorado Springs but for Colorado.” But, he said, seeing the hundreds upon hundreds of officers there to support the Flick family and honor one of their own helps the community understand “what heroes are.”

“Micah Flick was a great, great hero,” he said. “He put himself between those bullets and his fellow officers. A true hero.”

Flags across the state have flown at half-staff nearly all week on Hickenlooper’s orders to honor Flick, the third Colorado law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty since New Year’s Eve.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams, also at the funeral, noted that he worked closely with the sheriff’s office during his eight years as an El Paso County commissioner.

“I very much appreciate the willingness of these men and women to put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us,” Williams said.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the only time I’ve been here for the funeral of a slain officer. Our community comes together to rally around the family and the office. I think that’s a testament to the support for law enforcement that’s present here in El Paso County and across the state.”

Asked whether the spate of shootings signals a cultural problem in the state, Hickenlooper said broken families and a transient society more likely leave children lacking respect for authority.

“Clearly, we’ve got a serious problem,” he said. “It’s a big issue.”

Mayor John Suthers tweeted: “Today we mourned the loss of Dep. Micah Flick, and celebrated his life of courage, dedication & service. It’s with tremendous pride that I thank the thousands who turned out to pay their respects to Deputy Flick. It’s an honor to be your mayor.”

But it wasn’t a day for politics.

County commissioner Mark Waller said he was struck by Rachael Flick’s comment that the shootout wasn’t about divisive issues of the day, such as gun control or racial tensions.

“This is about the sanctity and protection of life, just as simple as that,” Waller said. “I think, moving forward, it’s working hard to raise our kids, like she said – to educate them in such a way that we teach them to value life, because it is so precious.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.