Hundreds pay respects to fallen Buckeye officer

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AVONDALE, Ariz. - The Buckeye police officer shot execution style on Sunday will be laid to rest Friday morning. A visitation was held in his honor Thursday night.

Thirty-seven-year-old Rolando Tirado was working off-duty as a security guard in Phoenix when he and other Buckeye officer stopped a suspicious vehicle early Sunday morning.

Police say while Tirado was talking to the driver the front-seat passenger got out of the SUV and shot Tirado in the back of the head.

The other officer, Christopher Paz, was shot multiple times but survived. He is expected to be released from the hospital in coming days, according to a Buckeye Police Department official.

Hundreds filled St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale to pay their respects to Tirado Thursday night.

"Everyone knew him, everyone loved him," said Tirado's former supervisor, Lt. Jared Griffith. "He touched everyone in the community."

Tirado also worked as a school resource officer at Youngker High School in Buckeye where students and staff are struggling to come to grips with his murder.

"We can't make sense of it," said teacher Misty Moore.

Tirado is survived by a wife and two children, ages 13 and 16.

His funeral service will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas, 13720 W. Thomas Road in Avondale.

Two suspects have been arrested for his murder and a third was killed in a shootout at the scene.

Note: azfamily.com will stream the funeral service.