‘Pretty incredible’: Complete stranger honors slain officer with ‘Taps’ outside police headquarters

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Ohio police were surprised by a tribute from a complete stranger outside their office.

The Columbus Police Department heard a man playing “Taps” outside of their headquarters on Sunday, reportedly in honor of Officer Steven M. Smith who died last week after being shot in the line of duty.

Det. James Howe, who caught the man on video which was posted to the department’s Facebook page, said it was “pretty incredible,” reported Fox 59.

Though police were unable to catch up with the man who drove off after the musical tribute and a respectful salute, they later identified him as Graham Webb III.  The department updated the Facebook post with his name and thanked him for his “kindness and compassion.”

Webb made a stop at the Columbus Police Memorial after his tribute at police headquarters, all before heading to work, reported NBC4.  A 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Webb said he wanted to pay his respects to Smith and the department.

“Everybody that I know of has the same feelings,” Webb said, according to NBC4.  “They might not be playing ‘Taps,” but they still have the sadness in their heart.”

Detective Howe was grateful to Webb, who has been playing “Taps” for years as a way of giving back.

“It’s been a tough year and a half in general for police and then to have someone like that, it’s quite an experience,” said Howe.

SWAT Officer Smith, 54, served with the Columbus Police for 27 years. He was wounded April 11 while serving an arrest warrant and died from the injuries the next day.

 

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Frieda Powers

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