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People Praise Life Of Fallen Metro Officer

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

People Praise Life Of Fallen Metro Officer

CREATED May 13, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The funeral service for Metro Police Officer Michael Petrina, who was struck and killed Saturday morning while directing traffic along I-65 in Brentwood, will be held Thursday in west Tennessee.

Flags flew at half staff at Metro Precincts across Nashville Monday. Officer Petrina graduated from the police academy just last year. He was 25-years-old.

His brother, Anthony Petrina, spoke out about his brother and had a tearful message to share.

“If there's emergency or construction, just please pull over, move. It's the law for a reason, and now Michael is another one of those reasons,” said Petrina.

Officers who worked and trained with Officer Petrina used words like selfless and happy to describe the way Petrina lived his life.

"He had a heart for everybody, it was evident from the day I met him. He was never afraid to back someone up or to be there for anybody,” said Officer Michael White.

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said the 25-year-old was struck and killed by a motor home, while assisting a TDOT HELP truck direct traffic around a previous wreck.

The driver of the motor home, 71-year-old Dean Diver of Key Largo, Florida, told police he was unable to merge into the other lanes of traffic and subsequently hit Petrina. The TDOT worker was not injured in the collision.

Monday, members of Petrina's Session 71 police academy class remembered him. The 28 recruits just graduated in September.

"We just really feel for his family, and his mom and dad. We'll just continue to pray for them in this loss," said Officer Tracey Buckner.

Each of Petrina's classmates remembered his good nature and attitude, and how he would do anything, for anyone.

"Any opportunity he had to help you, if you needed to study, if you needed to run more after the academy, if you needed somebody to talk to. He tried to give me his lunch one day, when I forgot mine, you can't ask for a friend like that," said Officer David Stanley.

There was nothing but praise for Petrina from the people who knew him well, and from members of the community who were just getting to know the officer.

"He was a phenomenal guy," Brooke Chapin said about the fallen officer.

She is the manager of the Service King Collision Repair, off of Nolensville Pike. She said Officer Petrina made it a point to stop by the business on a near weekly basis.

"And just say 'hey, how are y'all doing, everything good, have you guys noticed anything weird, I just want to make sure everything's okay.' And just genuinely, I mean, you could tell it was not put on, he wanted to make sure we were good," Chapin explained.

Officer Petrina’s funeral will be held Thursday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in the Memphis suburb of Germantown. Service will start at 10 a.m.

Visitation with the family will be held on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at Memorial Park Funeral Home, 5668 Poplar Avenue in Memphis.

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