Archbishop Dolan to Officiate at Funeral for Slain Poughkeepsie Cop

Mourners expected in second day of wake for slain cop

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The officers responding to the shooting at the Poughkeepsie train station, didn't know it - but the incident was the fatal end to a months-long argument between an abusive husband and his wife. For weeks, Jessica Welch had been trying to avoid her husband Lee, but she apparently took a chance in order to get back the family car. Meanwhile, residents and police officers in Poughkeepsie are mourning Officer Falcone. Thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in his memory. Chris Glorioso brings us more on the story. (Published Sunday, Feb 20, 2011)

    Friends, family and colleagues turned out Tuesday for a wake to honor a Poughkeepsie police officer who was shot and killed confronting a gunman at the town's train station last week.

    Officer John Falcone, an 18-year veteran of the force, died late Friday after being shot in the head while chasing the 27-year-old shooter, Lee Welch, who later killed himself, police said. 

    "We cannot believe it whatsoever. It's just so surreal," said friend Dorinda Gremindo.

    Mayor John Tkazyik said Falcone was now "at peace."

    "It was an honor to have known him and to be with his family at this time, " Tkazyik said, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

    The newspaper also reported that Archbishop Timothy Dolan will officiate at his funeral service. He is also being promoted posthumously.

    On Sunday, more than 1,000 people attended a candlelight vigil to honor Falcone. The evening vigil began behind City Hall and proceeded to the Poughkeepsie train station where the melee erupted Friday afternoon.

    Falcone, 44, was killed by a single gunshot wound, the Dutchess County medical examiner said.

    "It speaks to the reality that every time a law enforcement personnel leaves the comfort of their home, their family doesn't know if they are going to return," said State Sen. Gregory Ball.

    His wake continued through the day and evening at Cargain Funeral Home in Carmel, N.Y.  

    Falcone lived in Marlboro and was not married.  His funeral is scheduled for Thursday at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.

    The melee last Friday began after Welch shot and killed his wife, 28-year-old Jessica Welch, moments before he encountered Falcone. Welch was carrying his three-year-old girl, and Falcone took her away from the gunman before he was shot. The child was not hurt.