The Miami police Honor Guard will be missing one of its own Saturday.
Carl Patrick, the Miami police officer found dead from a gunshot in his Pembroke Pines home last week, will receive all the honors of an officer killed in the line of duty Saturday, when his family and fellow officers lay him to rest.
Patrick, a 25-year veteran, was a member of the department’s honor guard, a ceremonial unit whose main job is to display colors during processions for fallen comrades. Miami police say Patrick was wearing his uniform, and that his lunch box and work computer were found in his car the afternoon he was found, an indication that he was on his way to work.
For that, the department will honor him with a procession that includes the Honor Guard, a 21-gun salute, a flyover by helicopters from Miami and Miami-Dade police, and the handing over of a folded American flag to his 86-year-old mother, Lucille Patrick.
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Patrick was found shot to death in the bedroom of his Pembroke Pines home May 9. Pines police have released little information, but his girlfriend Tiniko Thompson, a public service aide for the city of Miami, admitted she struggled with Patrick, who she said was holding his gun, before it went off and killed him.
She said the incident took place on the morning of May 7, two days before Patrick’s body was found, and called the shooting self-inflicted and accidental. Thompson said she spent two days in the officer’s black BMW driving around and sleeping under a bridge before contacting police because she was distraught and didn’t know what to do.
Miami police say they are investigating who called in for Patrick during the two days before his body was found.
Police were finally notified that something was wrong by Patrick’s mother, who called Miami and Pembroke Pines police on May 9 saying her son hadn’t responded to phone calls and she was worried.
That’s the same day, Thompson said, she notified family about what had happened, who then called police.
Records indicate Thompson had been absent from work for several months before the shooting incident. She used up her family leave and vacation time. Her attorney, Rod Vereen, said Thompson had a miscarriage last summer that Patrick insisted she keep quiet.
Pembroke Pines police have called the incident a homicide, but there has been no arrest. Police have asked Thompson to come in for questioning, but she has refused.
Saturday’s funeral will begin at 1 p.m. at Trinity Church in Miami Gardens, 17801 NW Second Ave. From there, the procession will move to Dade Memorial Park, 1301 Opa-locka Blvd.