JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. (AP) — More than 2,000 law enforcement officers, most clad in gray uniforms on a gray day, turned out to say goodbye to a 42-year-old New York state trooper killed while making a routine traffic stop.
Christopher Skinner, a 13-year state police veteran, was remembered Tuesday in a funeral service at First Baptist Church as a kindhearted man who showed his love in different ways.
"Like my father, Chris had very few words to express his love," said Skinner's sister, Air Force Maj. Julie Skinner-Dillon. "Chris showed his emotions with very practical gifts, like tires and safety gear.
"As I was finalizing my remarks over a cup of coffee this morning, I looked up to see a full rainbow in the skies of Johnson City," she said. "I'm going to take that as a sign that we are not alone and Chris is watching over us."
State police said Skinner was killed instantly when he was intentionally struck by a pickup truck around noon Thursday as he cited a motorist for an infraction on Interstate 81 just north of Binghamton.
The driver of the pickup, 60-year-old Almond Upton, of Melrose, Florida, has been charged with first-degree murder.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also attended the funeral, which lasted more than an hour. Trooper Matt Maciak, who worked with Skinner, gave the eulogy.
"Your boots will be hard to fill," Maciak said. "You were an integral part of our team."
The service ended outside the 1,800-seat church with a 21-gun salute as American flags were meticulously folded and given to family members as bagpipers played "Amazing Grace."
More than 1,000 people attended Skinner's wake on Monday night.