This story originally appeared on 6abc.
It was a solemn day in Philadelphia as the city remembered one of its finest.
Sgt. Richard Mendez, a more than 20-year member of the police force, was laid to rest following a public viewing and funeral mass on Tuesday.
He was killed while trying to stop a break-in at Philadelphia International Airport earlier this month.
A procession began at about 6:10 a.m. as officers escorted the casket from the John F. Givnish Funeral Home on Academy Road to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City.
Officers stood strong saluting as the casket was carried up the basilica steps with an American flag draped over it.
A second public viewing was held followed by a private funeral service. Mendez, who was posthumously promoted to sergeant, was then laid to rest at a cemetery in Somerton.
“From this moment forward, Officer Mendez will be recognized as Sergeant Richard Mendez, badge 417,” said interim Police Commissioner John Stanford.
Along with the promotion, he was also awarded the Purple Heart and the Valor Award.
Hundreds of officers were in attendance to show their support, some said they knew Mendez and some did not. But they said it doesn’t matter, they are a brotherhood and they all wear the same badge.
“I feel compelled to come say goodbye in this fashion. It’s always my honor and privilege to do so,” said Morgan Meehan, Drexel University police officer.
“He did his job.”
Fifty-year-old Mendez served more than 20 years with the Philadelphia Police Department. He was killed on October 12 after trying to stop a late-night car break-in at a Philadelphia International Airport parking garage, right as he arrived for his shift.
It’s a night Mendez’s daughter, Mia, will never forget.
“That very night I asked him ‘Can’t you call in sick? I want you to stay home with us tonight.’ He said, ‘No mami, I can’t,'” she said. “That night was the worst night of my life.”
She spoke about her fears for the city, and her resolve to keep going.
“Surviving without my daddy will be difficult, but we know he wouldn’t want us to give up,” she said. “So we won’t.”
“If he heard that glass breaking, he could have went the other way, he did not do that. He did his job,” said John McNesby, with FOP.
Police said the suspects fired at Mendez and another officer. Mendez was killed and his colleague, Officer Raul Ortiz, was shot but survived.
“It’s a very unforgiving job and one of the things — it’s a reality of it — you know it when you sign up for it but no one wants to think this will become an outcome for anyone,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the shooting, including 18-year-old Yobranny Martinez Fernandez, 21-year-old Alexander Batista-Polanco, and 21-year-old Hendrick Pena-Fernandez.
A fourth person believed to be involved in the killing, 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran, was killed in the Thursday night shooting.
Police believe there were others responsible for helping the suspects hide out after the killing.