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Metro Sgt. Remembers Last Moments with Fallen Officer | News

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Metro Sgt. Remembers Last Moments with Fallen Officer
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LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police Officer David VanBuskirk was laid to rest Monday in Las Vegas.

VanBuskirk died July 22 during a rescue attempt of a stranded hiker on Mt. Charleston. The hiker was saved, but VanBuskirk fell an "unsurvivable" distance during the rescue, Sheriff Doug Gillespie said last week.

A police motorcade escorted VanBuskirk, his family and members of his search and rescue team from Palm Mortuary near downtown to Central Christian Church in Henderson.

During the services, VanBuskirk was remembered for his kindness, sincerity and dedication to others.

He saved lives on Metro's Search and Rescue Team, going up in a helicopter, being hoisted down to lost or stranded hikers or people who became injured, bringing them to safety.

His colleagues recalled that VanBuskirk was someone who would follow up with the people he rescued to make sure they were okay.

That is the kind of person David VanBuskirk was, helping others until the very last seconds of his life.

One emotional moment during the service came when VanBuskirk's sergeant described their final moments together on the mountain.

"I remember touching his face. I remember helping him close his eyes for the last time, and I want everyone to know that David was at peace and that being on the mountain with him that night was the greatest honor of my life," Metro Sgt. Gavin Vesp said.

A lot of tears were shed at the service, but there were some lighter moments with some of VanBuskirk's fellow officers remembering his funny side.

The service ended in a traditional way with the Metro Police Honor Guard escorting VanBuskirk's body out of the church and to his final resting place.

The gravesite service lasted approximately an hour and involved the traditional rendering of honors, including the presentation of flags to the family, a 21-gun salute, the playing of "Taps", the playing of bagpipes and a flyover by the Metro Air Support Section.


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