KENT, Wash. -- Traffic in Kent came to a standstill Wednesday afternoon as dozens of police officers from throughout the region provided an escort for fallen Kent officer Diego Moreno.
Moreno was killed Sunday morning when he was deploying spike strips to stop a fleeing vehicle during a police chase and was hit by a fellow officer's car.
Vehicles started lining up at the Kent Police Department headquarters around 9 a.m. Wednesday. From there, officers provided an escort to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where Moreno's body was placed into a vehicle, and then back through the busy streets of Kent to Marlatt Funeral Home.
Hours before the police escort arrived, traffic still moved at its normal pace down Central Avenue. However, a few blocks down the road a small group of people were gathering.
“We reached out to Kent PD, we said we got to do something, people are asking, 'what can we do?' And when the PD agreed to let us know, we orchestrated this timing,” said Kirsten Warmington. “My sister and I put this on social media last night."
Surrounding Warmington were about 30 people who, in less than 24 hours, got organized and met her to welcome Moreno home.
“It kind of gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it?" she said.
Warmington knew Moreno through her brother, who is also a police officer.
“Goofy, hilarious, loved his family, loved his wife, loved his children,” said Warmington.
But many people joining Warmington on the sidewalk did not have the chance to meet the fallen officer. However, they still had a strong connection to him.
“Cougars do that,” said Warmington.
Warmington was joined by a sea of Crimson and Gray. Standing along Central Avenue, dozens of Washington State University students and alumni said goodbye to Moreno, one of their own.
“I’m a little emotional. I didn’t expect so many on a Wednesday at 1:30,” said Warmington.