Mourners gather to pay last respects to Auburn officer killed in the line of duty

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Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.

AUBURN, Mass.  — A Massachusetts community is paying its final respects to a police officer who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

A wake for Auburn Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. was held Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in the nearby town of Charlton.

A funeral Mass is planned for Friday morning at the same church, followed by burial at a cemetery in Tarentino’s hometown of Leicester.

Thousands of police officers from New England and elsewhere gathered to pay respects to the 42-year-old Tarentino, who was the son of a police officer and leaves a wife and three sons.Officers left from Hartford police headquarters around 7 a.m to travel to the funeral.

He was shot in the back during a traffic stop early Sunday morning by a man with a long criminal history. The suspect was later killed during an exchange of gunfire with police.