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Metro officer remembered as ‘protector’ of family, community

Sheriff Gillespie asks for prayers during Thanksgiving holiday


Steve Marcus

Honor guard members salute during the funeral for Metro Officer Trevor Nettleton at Palm Memorial Park Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009.

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 | 6:55 p.m.

Funeral for Officer Trevor Nettleton

Funeral for Metro Officer Trevor Nettleton.

Trevor Nettleton Memorial

The body of Metro officer Trevor Nettleton is carried out of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church after funeral services Wednesday, November 25, 2009. Launch slideshow »

Metro Officer Trevor Nettleton

Metro Officer Trevor Nettleton Launch slideshow »

Changing of the Guard

See the changing of the guard at the Tuesday viewing for slain Metro Officer Trevor Nettleton.

To the hundreds of police officers, friends and family gathered for his funeral on Wednesday, Metro Police officer Trevor Nettleton was a hero, a leader and someone to look up to.

“His loss is one that is felt by us all, especially his family,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said. “Our community lost a protector.”

Nettleton, a 30-year-old former Marine, was shot to death in the garage of his North Las Vegas home last week in what police say was an attempted robbery.

Gillespie said the community’s support has been a source of strength for Metro as the department deals with Nettleton’s death.

Funeral services for Nettleton began at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church, 1811 Pueblo Vista Drive. Monsignor Kevin Mcallife officiated the mass.

Metro officer Larry Rinetti, who served in the Marines with Nettleton, said he knew Nettleton died proudly, protecting his wife and young children. “Once he knew they were safe, Trevor rested,” he said.

“What (the suspects) didn’t realize is that they came into the den of a lion,” Rinetti said. “They became a flock of sheep.”

Six people — Michael Ferguson, 25, Saul Williams Jr., 20, Prentice Marshall, 18, Quadre Scott, 18, Adrian Pena, 17, and Emmitt Ferguson, 18 — have been arrested in connection with Nettleton’s death.

Nettleton’s wife, Danielle, sat at the front of the church with the couple’s 2-year-old son, Tanner, and 2-month-old daughter, Quinn.

Rinetti said Nettleton was a “big, jovial goofball” with a big heart but, at the same time, a seasoned warrior.

“Trevor was amazing at his craft. He wasn’t arrogant about it. He loved what he did,” he said.

He recalled the day Nettleton met his wife, saying that his friend had been making “goo-goo eyes” at her all day long. She would turn out to be the love of his life, he said.

“Trevor knew he was going to marry you the day he met you,” Rinetti said to Nettleton’s widow. “You completed him.”

Rinetti, looking toward the couple’s 2-month-old daughter, said, “You’re going to have the hardest time getting a date, little girl,” because she will have the entire Metro Police force looking out for her when she grows up.

He said the couple’s son has “your daddy’s big legs and booty. There’s no doubt you are destined for greatness.”

Nettleton’s mother, Deborah Austern, said her son had always wanted to be a police officer, just like his father, when he was growing up in Quincy, Wash.

Nettleton excelled in sports and loved baseball. But instead of pursuing sports and going to college, he joined the Marines.

“I would gladly trade places with you to give you back to Danielle, Tanner and Quinn,” Austern said, telling her son she loved him.

“This is the place where you’d always say, ‘I love you, too, mom,’” she said.

Metro officer Brian Jackson recalled the first time he met Nettleton at the Police Academy in November 2006.

“He always trained hard and in a way that he could better himself,” Jackson said, noting that Nettleton was respected among his peers.

Gillespie asked the community to remember Nettleton and his sacrifices during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“To Trevor’s family, I say this: You will never be alone. You will always and forever have the support of your Metro family,” Gillespie said.

Nettleton was confronted in his garage shortly after midnight Thursday. The three-year Metro Police veteran had just returned from work and wasn’t in uniform when he was shot, authorities said.

The Injured Police Officers Fund has opened an account for Nettleton’s family at Nevada State Bank. The account number is 602027542.

After the funeral services, Nettleton was buried at Palm Mortuary and Cemetery Northwest, 6701 N. Jones Blvd.

At the burial, three trumpeters played Taps in a round. Five helicopters flew over the mortuary in a missing-man formation, one of them peeling away from the rest of the group.

Gillespie presented Nettleton’s wife with a flag, as did the Marines, to honor his service.

Officer Rob Alford, who spoke at the funeral, said Nettleton would still have his back when he was working. He knew his friend would be with him in spirit, he said.

“Let’s go, bud,” he said. “We’ve got work to do.”

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