Barron County officers laid to rest
Chetek Police Officer Emily Breidenbach and Cameron Police Officer Hunter Scheel were laid to rest at Cameron High School Saturday in front of family, friends, and a few thousand others in a small, tight-knit community in Barron County, Wisconsin.
Both officers were shot to death during a traffic stop on April 8. The suspect also died during the exchange of gunfire.
Visitation and a funeral service took place at Cameron High School, which was immediately followed by police honors and a procession.
Law enforcement personnel from across the state came to mourn, joined by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee Field Office Michael Hensle, and several state and U.S. senators and representatives from Wisconsin.
“They died heroes protecting their communities,” Rice Lake Police Department Chaplain Mark Clements began during the service.
Clements spoke of Officers Breidenbach and Scheel as a pair of officers and friends who had each other’s backs until the end.
Scheel was 23 years old and had been serving on the Cameron police force for just a year.
Cameron Police Chief Adam Steffen remembered him for his “infinite smile and unwavering kindness and loyalty.”
Scheel’s service began as a teenager in the Wisconsin Army National Guard right out of high school.
“I cry and cry knowing they’ll never see that smile again,” his sister, Audrey Scheel shared. “I’ll never get to listen to him laugh and tell a funny joke again. I’ll never get to see him hug my mom or tease or younger sisters, an unexplainable pain that hurts both mentally and physically.”
He was described by his sister as “confident, strong and fearless,” remembered as faithful and devoted by his partner Camryn Gosdeck and by his cousin “as a protector of all, at home and at work.”
“We love you always and forever rest in peace,” Audrey Scheel said.
Emily Breidenbach was also remembered through tears, applause and some laughter.
“This is not my first funeral for an officer, but this is definitely the worst,” Chetek Police Chief Ron Ambrozaitis began.
Chief Ambrozaitis remembered the first day he met Officer Breidenbach, adding in jest, “She tried my patience, but I loved her.”
“To know her was to love her,” her brother, Mike Breidenbach added.
He described her as someone who had infinite love to give to her siblings, parents, her fiancé, his children and the entire community.
“You will always be a part of our lives,” Mike Breidenbach concluded. “Emily, I love you girl.”
a procession was held with law enforcement and community members as their bodies were escorted from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, Minn. back to a funeral home in Barron County.
On Tuesday, the Chetek Police Department announced a memorial fund has been set up for Officer Breidenbach. Cameron Police Department has announced a separate memorial fund for Officer Scheel.