Police honor officer who died decades after being shot in the line of duty

EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. -- Funeral services were held Monday for an officer who passed away decades after being shot in the line of duty.

Officer Bernard Domagala was wounded in a standoff, a day that forever changed his life - but not his spirit.

The bullet that would later take his life was fired in July, 1988, by former Chicago police officer Tommie Lee Hudson, who was losing his home and had shot a mover trying to evict him. Domagala was shot by Hudson after he barricaded himself inside that home.

Hudson was later declared mentally ill, hospitalized and died in 1994.

When a fellow officer is shot it's a day you never forget. Probably like every officer working that day, now-Deputy Supt. Kevin Novarro says he'll never forget thinking, "that could've been me."

"Today is a solemn reminder not only of the the dangers of police work not knowing if you are going to come home not only being killed but officer domagala was catastrophically injured. He suffered and his family suffered for 30 years," Novarro said.

In the years since he was shot, other family members stepped in to try and fill the void left by Domagala's inability to do most things a dad does. Fellow officers would regularly stop by to say hello.

All these years later, inside his funeral mass a parish priest spoke of his dedication to his family and to the job. But 29 years later, on 9/11 they said goodbye to the public servant; the man with the big smile and the bigger heart. Bernie Domagala was 66.

While his widow and children looked on, the coffin containing Domagala's body was carried into the Queen of Martyr's Catholic Church, as a sea of his brothers and sisters in blue stood at attention.

His family is sending a special thanks to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation for, in their words, "never forgetting them from the day he was shot to the day, today, he was laid to rest."