ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Hundreds are gathering at the Cathedral Basilica to pay their final respects to fallen North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf.
The 17-year-veteran was executed last week by a North Carolina man attempting to cash a bad check inside a Wellston market, authorities have said.
The Funeral service will take place Monday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica on Lindell Blvd.
Fellow law enforcement personnel, including Ballwin officer Michael Flamion, were outside of the church as the casket carrying Ofc. Langsdorf arrived.
During his funeral mass, Officer Langdorf’s children Kaleb and Olivia delivered emotional eulogies. Kaleb approached the podium first and described how he was raised by his hero.
“They say never to meet your heroes because you’ll end up disappointed. Well, I had the chance to be raised by mine and he never disappointed,” Officer Langsdorf’s son, Kaleb, said.
After Officer Langsdorf’s children gave their eulogy, North County Police Cooperative Chief John Buchanan spoke of how well-liked the fallen officer was. He also recalled how Officer Langsdorf would go out of his way to ensure others safety and to put his community first.
Following the funeral mass, a procession will take place from the Cathedral Basilica to the Resurrection Cemetery.
During the burial service, MacKenzie will be closed in both directions near the cemetery.
The St. Ann and Overland Police Departments will be covering for the North County Cooperative so the entire department can attend the service Monday.
Loved ones, friends and fellow men and women in blue waited for hours to get inside the Hoffmeister Colonial Mortuary on Chippewa to say their goodbyes Sunday.
Decades-old friends were heartbroken they lost a friend years ahead of his time. Brandon Abkemeier cherished Langsdorf and said he waited three hours to say goodbye to his high school friend.
“It was worth it to pay respects because he was an awesome guy, he would do the same,” Abkemeier said.
Abkemeier said he was in business with Langsdorf for a while. He said he watched Langsdorf grow throughout the years to become a loving father and police officer.
“I’m just saddened,” Abkemeier said. “He touched a lot of lives … It’s a shame that we’re here.”
Wellston Mayor Samuel Shannon said Langsdorf was the first officer to comfort him after his son’s death a few months ago.
“He was very helpful and trying to help me cope with the passing of my son,” Shannon said. “I think I owe him the same that he gave to me, and that was respect … He was there for me so I’m here for him and his family.”
“I was in shock,” he continued. “In awe because we try so hard not to have these situations come into our city.”
Former South County Police Officer Joe Lynett said violence in St. Louis is worse now than it was when he was on the force. He went to Langsdorf’s visitation to show support for the fallen officer’s family and show them the public is behind them.
“It was devastating,” Lynett said. “Unfortunately, it’s the environment that we live in right now and something’s gotta change. We can’t continue to lose officers the way that we are and have them attacked.”
Lynett said law enforcement officers take a risk everyday. They leave their homes without the guarantee of a safe return.
“You have to kiss your family goodbye at the beginning of the day and take every effort to ensure that you are coming home that night,” Lynett said.
Langsdorf was 40 years old. He leaves behind a fiancee, two teenage children and his parents.
Backstoppers is helping Langsdorf’s family, and donations are being accepted at any First Community Credit Union.