Thousands pay respects to state trooper killed in the line of duty

This morning, motorcycles led the procession as the trooper’s body was brought to the Xfinity Theater.

John Craven and Mark Sudol

Jun 5, 2024, 4:43 PM

Updated 9 days ago

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Thousands of law enforcement officers from across the Northeast, as well as ordinary citizens, packed into Hartford’s Xfinity Theatre on Wednesday to honor a fallen Connecticut state trooper.
Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier was struck by a passing driver on Interstate 84 in Southington last week as he was pulling over a car for a seat belt violation.
“We’re seeing thousands of law enforcement officers from all over the place,” said Fairfield Police Capt. Antonio Granata.
But among overflow crowd of mourners, only one voice could speak directly to Pelletier – his widow, Dominique.
“My honey, you weren't just my husband,” she said through tears. “You were my home. You were my heart. You were my safe place and my provider.”
Pelletier was killed conducting a routine traffic stop. Except, everyone at this memorial knows, there is no such thing as a routine stop.
“It’s a tough day for all of us,” said Darien Police Chief Jeremiah Marron. “We’re a large family. We work very close with Connecticut State Police.”
Pelletier’s priest remembered when he first heard the news.
“That’s our Aaron. And my heart sank,” said Father Joseph Cronin of St. Luke Parish in Pelletier’s hometown of Southington. "And for first time, perhaps in my life, I was speechless.”
Before Pelletier was laid to rest, he received two posthumous honors – a Medal of Honor and a Lifesaving Medal for coming to an injured motorcyclist’s aid just one week before losing his own life.
“He used his hands to close the torn artery until another trooper arrived,” said Col. Daniel Loughman, Pelletier’s commanding officer. “There is no doubt that the quick actions taken by Trooper First Class Pelletier saved that motorcycle operator’s life.”
Pelletier’s two young sons walked out with his K-9 partner, as fellow officers looked on, hoping this is their last funeral.
“It’s an amazing show of support, and we appreciate that,” said Marron. “But I also hope this is the last one I’m at.”
Following the public memorial, a motorcade brought Pelletier back to Southington for a private burial.
News 12's Mark Sudol's earlier coverage:


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