City of Detroit says its final goodbye to Officer Loren Courts Monday at Greater Grace Temple -- What we know

‘He was a hero, he paid the ultimate sacrifice responding to a call of a person with a gun’

It was a final goodbye to Officer Loren Courts after he was gunned down in the line of duty. Courts leaves behind a wife and two beloved children. He was 40 years old.

DETROIT – A sea of blue honored a hero Monday.

It was a final goodbye to Officer Loren Courts after he was gunned down in the line of duty.

“So bless his children,” said a woman speaking at the podium. “Honor his parents, honor his wife, and God bless and comfort his family.”

“For Loren Courts and his family, it’s a debt we can’t repay,” said a man speaking at the podium.

Courts leaves behind a wife and two beloved children.

He was 40 years old.

Greater Grace Temple was packed Monday (July 18) with fellow officers from across the country, including family and even total strangers.

Throughout the service, Local 4 heard stories about how devoted he was to his family and the City of Detroit.

There is meaning in everything that happened Monday. When the family arrived, they were greeted by blue as far as the eye could see.

Read: Vigil held to honor fallen officer on Detroit’s west side

Perhaps you didn’t notice the presence of a small but courageous woman seen in the video player above, pinning blue ribbons on the officers’ lapels as they arrived.

The woman is Sally Abdella. Her husband, SGT. Joe Abedella was a mounted police officer for the Detroit Police Department who died while on duty in 2015; also from a line of duty death.

Whether it’s a bullet or a heart attack to suddenly losing a loved one, she knows what it means to be on the inside of that church today, and so she is outside doing her part to show support.

“It reminds me, you know, I’m feeling for the family of Officer Courts,” said Abdella. “I’m feeling for their family very much and remembering what it’s like.”

Today is a day to think about the family Officer Courts, the husband, the father, the son, the friend, and the police officer who gave his life protecting others. Today is the day to focus on those who will miss him at the dinner table and bedtime tuck-ins.

What they’re seeing and feeling was another worse day of their lives with more to come, but Monday, the small band-aid on the gaping wound is the ocean of support from law enforcement from across Michigan, Canada, as far the south as Texas, and New York.

“It was a blur,” Abdella said. “It’s so overwhelming and emotional. The amount of people that were outside the church. I really can’t describe it. It was very overwhelming and emotional.”

From the bagpipes leading that led the procession from the church to the slow salutoe to the ritual of end of watch:

“Officer Courts you are going to ascend to your final destination,” said Chief Elvin Barren. “Rest easy. Your family behind the badge will take it from here. God bless you.”

Barren came from the same department to lead Southfield; today, he returns to pay respects.

“He was a hero,” Barren said. “He paid the ultimate sacrifice responding to a call of a person with a gun. “Who does that? And so police officers, day in and day out, pay that sacrifice. Have that courage to respond to these runs to keep our community safe.”

They came from police departments around the country and from across the border in Canada. They gathered at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit to salute and send off Detroit Police Department Officer Loren Courts, who was shot and killed earlier this month while serving his city.

Below is information about a memorial BBQ for fallen officer Loren Courts.

Memorial BBQ for fallen officer Loren Courts. (Detroit Police Department)

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.