Canonsburg honors fallen officer with bridge-christening, vigil

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CANONSBURG, Pa. - One year ago Friday, Canonsburg police Officer Scott Bashioum was killed in the line of duty.  

Channel 11 was in Canonsburg on Friday as the community honored Bashioum by naming a bridge after him and holding a vigil.

Residents call the bridge that runs over Chartiers Creek the gateway to the Washington County town. It’s a place where everyone who comes to Canonsburg can honor Bashioum’s sacrifice.

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“The ceremony is bittersweet for us because today marks the day we memorialize him forever,” said Alex Coghill, Canonsburg’s police chief. “When the community comes together like they have and they show their appreciation and their support, like, not only for police, but all first responders, it's incredible. It keeps you moving forward.”

Bashioum's family was there to unveil the sign bearing his name. They were presented with a flag for his service as a firefighter.

Residents and officers from several communities came out to support Bashioum's mother, father, wife and four children.

“I’m so impressed. I’ve been so impressed all year with what this community has done for this family. It’s just incredible what all they’ve done,” said Susan Nicoll, who attended the ceremony.


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Bashioum was later honored during a vigil Friday night in front of the borough building

Dozens gathered in frigid temperatures to pay their respects and reflect on the life of man who truly put it all on the line to serve and protect others. One year later, the emotions are still raw.

"You just remember what it was like to wake up that morning and know that happened so close to home,” said Kris Lesnock.

The pain is very real in Canonsburg. 

"A year ago this community was shaken by a senseless and horrific act of violence,” said Coghill, addressing the crowd.

They shared memories, lit candles and prayed.

"I still think about Scotty,” said Cathy O’Donnell. “I take one day at a time to get over it."

"You gotta honor the people that give so much,” said Dee Burns.

Investigators say Bashioum and his fellow officer, James Saieva, were ambushed while responding to a domestic dispute. Bashioum was killed, Saieva wounded and now recovering.

This tightknit community is still looking for answers as to why it all happened.

"While Scotty's death was senseless, it wasn't in vain,” Coghill said.

Healing hasn't been easy, but community members say the strength of the people is helping them get by.

"Never forget him ... he's here for us and he's here for this community,” Lesnock said. “He gave the biggest sacrifice for us and we're thankful for that." 

Bashioum was killed on Nov. 10, 2016, when he and other Canonsburg officers responded to a domestic violence call in the middle of the night. 

The suspect's pregnant girlfriend, Dalia Sabae, was also killed.

© 2017 Cox Media Group.


 

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