Death of officers brings flashback to affected families - KMOV.com

Death of officers brings flashback to affected families

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Officer Robert Stanze's funeral in 2000 after he was gunned down (Credit: KMOV). Officer Robert Stanze's funeral in 2000 after he was gunned down (Credit: KMOV).

(KMOV.com) – A St. Louis woman says every report of the death of an officer brings her back to 16 years ago when her husband, Robert Stanze, was gunned down.

In August of 2000, Michelle Stanze-Colombini says she did not really worry about her husband and his job as a police officer.

While officer Stanze was shot to death while making an arrest in 2000, it had been six years since the last St. Louis officer was killed in the line of duty.

“We never really thought about it [officers being gunned down]. There had not been any gun violence against police officers for quite a while; wasn't a common occurrence,” said Stanze-Colombini.

In 2016, officers being shot is a common occurrence.

“But now I feel like the families today need to worry about it [officers being gunned down]. And I think those officers think about it. It is in the forefront of their minds. So they're living with that now,” said Stanze-Colombini.

Stanze-Colombini says her son wants to be an officer. She says she is concerned about her son’s decision.

“I am scared. I am trying to push him toward another job because I don't want to worry every time he walks out the door,” said Stanze-Colombini.

Geriann Brandt is a former St. Louis County officer who teaches at Maryville University. Brandt’s husband and daughter are both St. Louis County officers.

Brandt says when an officer’s family hears of the death of a fellow officer, there is heartbreak at first, then anger.

“Not only is that officer's family going through a tragedy but also that offender's family, they also probably lost a loved one,” said Brandt. “I want to get out there and do something, protect each other as well as society.”

 Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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