The funeral for U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans will be held in Massachusetts Thursday and there was a procession Wednesday through Windsor Locks and Suffield as Evans was brought to his final resting place in Massachusetts.
Evans, 41, died in the line of duty after a man rammed a car into officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on April 2, authorities said. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Evans as a “martyr for democracy.”
Evans was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, attended elementary school there, and his family moved to Clarksburg, Massachusetts, where he graduated from Drury High School in 1998, then Western New England College in 2002.
A commercial flight brought Evans' remains to Bradley International Airport today before a procession to transported the remains to Evan’s final resting place.
People lined the streets in Suffield as firefighters hoisted a giant American flag in his honor.
“I just want to respect the service performed for the country and to honor him. Sorry he had to pass away," Fred Kotowski of Windsor said.
Evans laid in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday as lawmakers, law enforcement officers and others — including Vice President Kamala Harris — filed by and paid their respects. He is only the sixth person to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. It is a designation given to those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders.
“I saw some of the coverage on television and just to see the family, little daughter, just broke your heart," said Joanne Rhoades of Suffield, who waited for the procession in Connecticut Wednesday.
In honoring Evans on Tuesday, President Joe Biden, who also met with the family privately, said Evans was “defined by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage,” and he spoke of his own experience losing two children.
“Losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad — it’s like losing a piece of your soul,” Biden said.
The family said in a statement through the police earlier this month that most important in Evans' life were his children, Logan and Abigail.
“His most cherished moments were those spent with them — building with Lego, having lightsaber duels, playing board games, doing arts and crafts, and recently finishing the Harry Potter series,” the family said. “He was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did.”
In a tweet, Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote that “Officer Billy Evans made the ultimate sacrifice protecting & defending our democracy.”