A memorial service was held Friday morning for Sergeant Matthew Mainieri, a 20-year-veteran of the South Windsor police department.
Hundreds gathered at The First Cathedral in Bloomfield to pay their respects to Mainieri.
The 41-year-old was off-duty when he died Sunday after trying to break up a fight in a bar near Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
He was a 20-year veteran of the South Windsor department and was known to ride his motorcycle with friends in South Carolina.
Mainieri held many positions in his years at the department.
“We hired him as an animal control officer, and he was so good, and he became a police officer. He got so good at shooting, he became a firearms instructor. Then he became a SWAT officer, and he was so good at being a SWAT officer, they made him an explosive reacher. We put him in the traffic unit, he became a motor officer. He was so good at that he became an instructor. Everything he did, he did well," Deputy Police Chief Scott Custer said.
The obituary for Mainieri says he was born in Burlington, Vermont and was raised in Colchester, Vermont. He lived in Connecticut since 1996 and became a part-time resident of Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina in 2017.
Friends said Mainieri loved his job, his cats, and photography.
Kelton Jess Todd, 21, of South Carolina, is accused of punching Matthew Mainieri at a bar in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina and was originally charged with assault of a high and aggravated nature. He was later charged with involuntary manslaughter.
“We sent Matts’s handcuffs down, and that’s what that individual wore," Custer explained.