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Slain San Diego police officer praised as 'clearly one of our finest'

November 4, 2010 |  2:18 pm

San Diego Police Officer Christopher Wilson, killed a week ago in the line of duty, was remembered Thursday as a dedicated family man, a devoted friend and an exemplary officer.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, speaking to 3,000-plus police officers and others inside the Rock Church in the Point Loma neighborhood, called Wilson "a remarkable officer and an even better human being."

Police Chief William Lansdowne said Wilson was "clearly one of our finest" and "somebody who wanted to make this city safer."

Wilson, 50, a 17-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, was fatally shot while assisting in the attempted arrest of a suspect in a case of assault with a deadly weapon.

A Navy veteran and star high school athlete, Wilson was a training officer, served on the SWAT squad and spent his career in the racially mixed Southeastern division, where officials said he earned widespread community respect.

Police officers from around California and other states came to the funeral ceremony.

Wilson's ex-wife, Tracy; daughter Kaylee, 20, a college student; and son Conner, 17, a high school student, told the gathering of Wilson's strength, sense of humor and devotion to them.

"I am so lucky to be his daughter," Kaylee said tearfully. "I just wish I had had more time with him."

Former San Diego police officer Dan Walters, paralyzed in a 2003 on-duty shooting incident, remembered how Wilson came to Colorado after the shooting to be with him while he was receiving specialized care.

He stayed day and night for two weeks, overseeing that care, Walters said, adding that when he came back to San Diego, Wilson continued to help him, visited regularly, monitored care-givers and provided emotional support when Walters became despondent.

"He had my back, he was my brother," said Walters, his voice breaking. "This went on for two years while I was in the hospital. I love him so much. ... Let's never forget him."

Walters was given a standing ovation.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Pallbearers, including Conner Wilson, center, son of fallen San Diego Police Officer Christopher Wilson, carry his casket into Rock Church. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times