After nearly 2 months, Philadelphia Police Sgt. James O'Connor laid to rest

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Nearly two months after giving his life in the line of duty, a funeral service was held Friday morning for Philadelphia Police Sgt. James O'Connor IV.

Fellow officers, wearing protective masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, saluted as his flag-draped casket was escorted into Our Lady of Calvary Church in Northeast Philadelphia.

VIDEO: Entire funeral service for Sgt. James O'Connor



He was a 23 year veteran of the Philadelphia police force who served on the SWAT team for 15 years.

O'Connor, who was a corporal at the time of his death, was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

The delay in funeral services is due to the coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

His son, James O'Connor V, delivered a eulogy during the service, recognizing the impact of the pandemic. The few officers who were able to attend in-person maintained social distancing.

"This isn't the way we wanted to say goodbye to my father. It's just not fair. When the time is right, we'll give my father a proper send-off," said O'Connor V.

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The casket carrying Sgt. James O'Connor arrives for his funeral service on May 8, 2020.


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Chopper 6 was over a funeral procession for Philadelphia Police Sgt. James O'Connor.



Sgt. O'Connor was fatally shot by a suspect while serving a murder warrant on the 1600 block of Bridge street in Frankford on March 13.

"His life has been nothing shy of heroic. Yet his life was abruptly stolen from him by someone who is the opposite of what Corporal O'Connor exemplified," said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

Still, Sgt. O'Connor's son, who is also a Philadelphia police officer, remembered his father as a loving man who was dedicated to his family and the community he served for 23 years.

"Everyone knows my father was a Philadelphia police corporal, but he was much more than that. He was a son, a brother, a husband, father, son-in-law, grandfather, and a good friend to many," O'Connor V said.

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Sgt. James O'Connor's son delivers a eulogy for his father, a fallen Philadelphia Police officer, on May 8, 2020.



Outside O'Connor's home parish, Our Lady of Calvary Church, was a traditional officer send off complete with a helicopter flyover.

Inside, only his closest family and friends were able to mourn together.

"Our lives, meaning my family's lives, will never be the same. I want my dad to be remembered for who he was, and how he touched each and every one of us," O'Connor V said. "Dad, I promise that I will take care of everything. You made me into the man I am today. You will be missed by so many and you will never be forgotten."

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Watch the homily for Sgt. James O'Connor during his funeral Mass on May 8, 2020.


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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw delivers remarks during the funeral for Sgt. James O'Connor on May 8, 2020.


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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney delivers remarks during the funeral for Sgt. James O'Connor on May 8, 2020.



Sergeant O'Connor was married for 24 years to his high school sweetheart, Terri. They raised two children: his son who is also a Philadelphia police officer, and daughter Kelsey who is in the Air Force.

Over the police radio, the department played Sergeant O'Connor's final call,

"We thank you for a job well done. We love you and we will never forget you."

RELATED: Family of slain Philadelphia officer speaks out in exclusive interview
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SWAT Corporal James O'Connor gave his life doing what he loved for 23 years, protecting and serving the City of Philadelphia.



Commissioner Outlaw posthumously awarded Sgt. O'Connor three medals: The Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, and the Sgt. Robert Wilson, III Medal of Valor.

Three men are charged with murder in the shooting death of Sergeant O'Connor.

Hassan Elliot, 21 was being sought for a homicide that occurred in 2019 during the SWAT raid. Police say he fired the fatal gunshots.

Police have also charged 18-year-old Khalif Sears and 19-year-old Bilal Mitchell with murder, seven counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and conspiracy.

RELATED: Philadelphia police lead vehicle procession for Sgt. O'Connor
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It's a block filled with families and neighbors who are more like family too, usually a place with so much joy. Now in every window, signs display the badge number 8162

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