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Wife of officer killed in Holladay grateful for support as thousands attend vigil

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 23:54:05-05

HOLLADAY, Utah -- Thousands gathered Wednesday night to show their support for fallen officer Doug Barney and injured officer Jon Richey at a candlelight vigil at Holladay City Hall.

“It's hard to take it all in, but I haven't been left alone for even a minute,” said Erika Barney.

A fallen officer's widow, with her children by her side, talked about her husband, Doug Barney, as she looked out into the crowd of thousands showing their support and love.

“It just made me weep, and I’ve felt their arms around me the entire week and I’m so grateful for it,” Erika said.

With participants lighting candles and sharing memories, the vigil focused on celebrating officer Barney's life, which was taken from him Sunday when he was shot by a fugitive.

The death of 18-year veteran officer sent a wave of shock and disbelief throughout the community.

“If I feel this way, I can't imagine how my dear friends feel,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.

The community also gathered to show love for K9 officer Jon Richey, who was shot multiple times Sunday during the incident. He was released from the hospital Tuesday.

“I was just so honored to be able to know Doug,” Richey said.

Richey said he hadn’t known Barney for long, but he told FOX 13 Barney truly is his brother in blue. And now he has an undying love for the Barney family.

“Laying in the hospital bed, to see Erika take time out of her day, her awful morning, to come up to console me was incredible,” Richey said.

Both families involved in the tragic shooting say they are grateful for the outpouring of love and support as they suffer with losing a hero, friend, father and husband.

“I've actually feel lucky, I think other people go through grief and aren't given as much as I’ve been given this week; I’m grateful for it, and I know my husband would be so happy for the opportunity he had to serve,” Erika said.

The city put on this vigil in hopes of putting the community on a path towards healing.

Funeral services for Barney will be public, and they are scheduled for January 25 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.