NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Family, friends, law enforcement and the community gathered Wednesday morning to pay their respects to a fallen North Kansas City officer.
“Rest easy, hero. We’ll take it from here,” NKC Police Chief Kevin Freeman said.
A large procession then moved from the church through the Northland to the gravesite.
Rewatch the entire funeral service in the video player above.
Remembering Daniel Vasquez
Vasquez is remembered as a man who loved his community and showed that dedication throughout his life, according to his obituary.
As a child, Vasquez’s family said he enjoyed playing football, baseball, and wrestling. He also loved music and played drums at his church, as well as numerous other instruments.
In his free time, he enjoyed spending time with his family, including two older sisters, his fiancé and friends. He enjoyed playing video games, cooking, trying new foods, working out, and going to rodeos.
Those who love him said Vasquez was always smiling, joking and friendly to everyone.
It’s something his roommate, Officer Steve Emmons, shared with mourners during Vasquez’s funeral service.
“I don’t need to tell any of you what kind of man Danny was. We all know he was an amazing person, kind and loving friend, and stranger to no one,” Emmons said.
He asked people to remember Vasquez’s smile and share their favorite memories of the fallen officer on social media.
“Everything they said about him is true,” Angel Olivas, Vasquez’s pastor, said. “Happy, playful, true but also responsible, noble, but also honest, helpful, generous and obedient.”
Vasquez’s family said they will remember him as a compassionate and dependable protector to all that knew him. That description also defined Vasquez’s career.
One memory everyone had in common was Vasquez’s dream to become a police officer.
He began serving his community by working security at businesses in Wyandotte County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri.
He then joined the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department as a detention officer in March 2019.
In 2020, he applied to become a North Kansas City police officer. He graduated from the Regional Police Academy and joined the department in July 2021.
Vasquez’s family said he received a Medal of Valor from the North Kansas City Police Department.
After the funeral service Wednesday, a large procession traveled from the church to White Chapel Memorial Gardens where a graveside service was held.
Those who wanted to support the family lined Armour Road as the procession passed.
“I have three boys who actually want to be police officers when they grow up,” said Bridgett Nelson, who brought her children to the procession. “For them I want them to know that they’re loved and cherished and that we respect our police force just as much as we respect everybody in the community.”
Nelson said she hopes everyone gathered along Armour remembers this day and law enforcement’s willingness to sacrifice to protect others.
The procession included full law enforcement honors will first responders attending from all across the Kansas City area and beyond.
Community support for Vasquez’s family
Since he was killed last week, the support for Vasquez could be seen throughout the Northland.
Off Armour Road, there are signs of solidarity. In neighborhoods, there are blue, black and white flags and ribbons on trees for Vasquez.
Several local and franchise businesses are collecting donations or giving their proceeds to Vasquez’s family after his tragic death.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police had raised more than $95,000 in donations. Kansas City-area Price Choppers have raised almost $30,000. Northland McDonald’s locations also donated a portion of Tuesday’s sales to the Vasquez family fund.