Hundreds of people poured into a New Castle church Monday to say goodbye to Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy.
Joining family and friends as they entered St. Vitus Church in New Castle, colleagues in law enforcement wore black bands over their badges in honor of McCarthy, who was killed Thursday when the police cruiser he was in was hit by Kylee Barletto, 25, during a police chase.
Friends said they will remember McCarthy for his warm smile and how he always had something funny to say.
“I am devastated, devastated. This is one of the hardest things we have ever gone through in the city,” said family friend Mary Ann Gavrile. “He was just such a good man.”
McCarthy leaves behind a wife, two sons, one daughter, a stepson and a stepdaughter. McCarthy’s stepson Phillip McFall called his stepfather a hero and said he and the family appreciate the community’s support during this difficult time.
“He was my role model. I looked up to him more than anything. He was the closest thing I have ever had to a father in my life,” McFall said. “I would just like to thank all the officers out there that are putting their lives on the line every day and keeping our community safe and comforting.”
Calling hours will continue Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Vitus Church in New Castle. A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.