PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people packed Philadelphia's Roman Catholic cathedral Friday to mourn the sixth city police officer to die in the line of duty in 16 months.
A procession of police officers followed John Pawlowski's coffin in the early morning as it was carried from police headquarters to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on a horse-drawn caisson, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Pawlowski, 25, was shot last week when he responded to a call from a taxi driver confronted by a robber.
Before the funeral mass, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and the officer's sister gave eulogies. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, attending his fifth police funeral since he became mayor in 2008, read a letter of condolence to Pawlowski's family from U.S. President Barack Obama.
Ramsey said he was "haunted" by his meeting with Kim Pawlowski, John Pawlowski's wife who is five months pregnant and said that her son will never know his father, the Inquirer said.
Pawlowski was commended nine months ago as a rookie when he disarmed a bus passenger carrying a gun in his waistband.
"We have to be strong and we have to honor his service and all the others by doing our jobs and never giving up, never taking a step back," Nutter said.