Fallen Wayzata Officer's Family: You Will Always be Our Hero

September 13, 2017 02:21 PM

The family of fallen Wayzata police officer William Mathews said they will miss his smile and hugs, that his legacy will live on through his son, and he will leave his police department family "with many stories and laughs."

Police Chief Mike Risvold relayed the statement at the request of Mathews' wife, Shawn, and son, Wyatt, at a news conference Tuesday. 

Advertisement

"Bill lived his life to serve as an officer," the statement read. "From the time he began his schooling, he knew being a law enforcement officer was his calling, and he wanted to do it with the utmost dignity and pride. There was not a single day Bill complained about going to work."

RELATED: Community, Police Help Wayzata Heal After Officer's Death

Mathews was struck by a vehicle and killed Friday while removing construction debris from a roadway. 

The driver, Beth Freeman, has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of driving after cancellation of her driver's license.

RELATED: Lengthy Criminal Record for Woman Charged in Wayzata Officer's Death

Freeman made her first court appearance on Tuesday, and bail has been set at $500,000.

"Bill was a compassionate husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, officer and friend. We will miss his smile, his laugh, his hugs and his uncanny ability to fix anything," the family's statement reads. "Bill, your legacy will live on in our son Wyatt, we will never forget you."

As funeral preparations continue, Risvold said at the news conference the family's wishes remain "first and foremost." 

A visitation for Mathews will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Wayzata Free Church in Plymouth. His funeral is at 11 a.m. Thursday at the same church. Details of the procession route had not been finalized Tuesday afternoon.

RELATED: Wayzata Honors Officer William Mathews at J.J. Hill Days Parade

Risvold said a memorial fund for Mathews has been established through Wells Fargo, a link to which can be found at the city's website.

The family's full statement:

Wyatt and I would like to thank all of you for your support through this extremely difficult time. The out-pouring of love we feel all around us has been incredible. 

Bill lived his life to serve as an officer. From the time he began his schooling he knew being a Law Enforcement Officer was his calling and he wanted to do it with the utmost dignity and pride. There was not a single day Bill complained about going to work. He was there early and stayed late. Bill was proud to perform his duty as an officer in the communities of Wayzata and Long Lake, protecting and serving without hesitation. He deeply cared about his Wayzata Police family and will miss them, but will leave them with many stories and laughs. 

Please keep Wyatt and I in your prayers. We need your strength.

We will be forever grateful for the love and support shown by so many. 

Bill, thank you for enriching our lives, being our comfort and strength.  Wyatt and I heart's are broken. Bill was a compassionate husband, father, son, brother, brother-in law, uncle, Officer and friend. We will miss his smile, his laugh, his hugs and his uncanny ability to fix anything. Bill, your legacy will live on in our son Wyatt, we will never forget you.

You will always be our hero.

Credits

Michael Oakes

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Advertisement

Puerto Ricans in Minnesota Watch, Worry as Hurricane Maria Strikes Their Home

Melrose Residents Clean Up Wind-Swept Storm Damage

Uber Driver Says Passenger Attacked, Threatened to Kill Him

Maria Destroys Homes, Triggers Flooding in Puerto Rico

Advertisement