HOLLADAY — An estimated 10,000 people — 8,000 of them law enforcers from across the nation — are expected to attend the funeral for Unified police officer Doug Barney next week.
On Tuesday, funeral arrangements were announced for the 18-year veteran officer, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday while responding to a traffic accident in Holladay.
The announcement came on the same day that Unified police officer Jon Richey, who was also shot in both legs, was released from the hospital. He walked out "on his own two feet" and is home recovering, said Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell.
The funeral for Barney, 44, will be at the Maverik Center in West Valley City at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25.
It's the same place where funeral services were held in 2013 for slain Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson.
Shante Johnson, Derek's widow, said ever since she heard the news of Barney's death, many of the thoughts, emotions and nightmares she had three years ago have come back.
"It was just a throwback to the day our husbands died, and it's just been a constant loop since," she said while sitting next to Nanette Wride, the widow of Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride. Both sergeants were shot and killed while stopping to offer help to motorists.
On Monday, Nanette Wride and Shante Johnson met with Barney's widow, Erika, and their 13-year-old son and two daughters, ages 16 and 18.
"She is actually putting on a really good face right now. She's really brave, really strong. I think she's holding it together for everyone around her," Wride said. "You can tell she's terrified."
"Your heart just shatters all over again. You just know how she's feeling and you would give anything just to help a little bit. Our first instinct was just to run to her and let her know she's not alone," Johnson added.
After the death of her husband, Wride established the Blue Haven Foundation to assist the spouses of officers killed in the line of duty. While both Wride and Johnson say the foundation is valuable for both the support and resources it provides, both women admit it's a club that neither they, nor Erika Barney, want to be a member of.
"This has got to stop. What is wrong with people?" Wride said of Barney's death.
Sunday's shooting has brought back a lot of emotions for Wride, as it comes just a week before the two-year anniversary of her husband's death.
"I feel like I've regressed a whole lot. I thought I healed a lot in the last couple of years. And once again I'm not sleeping, I can't eat, I can't do anything but think about what she's going to be going through," Wride said.
"Everything that was normal to (Erika Barney), her existence doesn't exist anymore. And she will have to rebuild from the ground up," Johnson added.
Simply remembering to eat became difficult in the weeks and months following the deaths of their husbands, the women said.
Both Johnson and Wride pushed in the Utah Legislature last year for House Bill 288 that expanded benefits to the families of law enforcement officers, firefighters and correctional officers killed in the line of duty. Erika Barney will become the first recipient of that bill.
The women say the best way for the community to support the Barney family now is to make donations to the accounts that have been set up, or by just putting flags in their yards. One of Johnson's most prized memories was seeing the streets of Draper and Sandy lined with people on the day of her husband's funeral.
Barney's body was transported from the hospital to the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office on Sunday with a large police procession. Retired Unified Police Lt. Chris Bertram, one of Barney's closest friends, was there as officers stood and saluted as his body was brought through the hospital hallway.
"One, it was impactful and it was respectful for Doug. But at the same time it crushed me because I knew this was my friend and there wasn't going to be the phone call when my daughter needed help with the car. There wasn't going to be something for my wife when we had a question. There wasn't going to be just running into Doug and laughing. No more," Bertram said.
He was Barney's supervisor when he was assigned to the Kearns-Magna area in 2000.
"We immediately hit it off," Bertram recalled. "His sense of humor, his outgoing personality was something that immediately (we) just connected with. And we started a friendship that lasted 16 years."
Bertram remembered his friend as humble, funny, outgoing and selfless. He called him a self-motivated officer who was a natural for the job.
"He was good at it. He saw things other cops didn't see. He acted on things that other cops wouldn't act on. And through that entire career that I knew him, he was always conscientious that there was more to the story, that people were going through tough things in their life, and he understood that. And he treated people with such respect," he said.
Barney and his family had already been through a lot prior to Sunday.
Barney suffered several health problems over the course of his career, including battles with cancer. At one point, Barney was inactive from duty for a year while receiving treatment and recovering. Bertram believes Barney may have become sick by being exposed to dangerous chemicals at meth labs where he made many busts before officers learned of the long-term health effects.
Barney was working an overtime shift on Sunday to help pay off some of those cancer treatments.
But even when Barney had to go back to the hospital on short notice when he fell ill again — often for days at a time — Bertram said the hard-working officer would actually apologize for missing a shift.
Bertram and Barney, both 6 feet 5 inches tall with similar facial features, were often mistaken for each other. It was something that Barney would often joke about.
"His sense of humor was beyond none. He could come into a room, and you could be having a bad day, and he'd just light it up. Everyone liked him because of that," Bertram said.
Barney's "happy place" was his garage where he could fix any vehicle. Bertram said Barney fixed his family's cars at his house on more than one occasion, sometimes giving a perfect diagnosis just by hearing the symptoms over the phone.
When Barney came back to work after his cancer treatment, Bertram said the goal was simply to get him to retirement where he could collect his pension.
"That's what really hurts me. I expected to have a lot longer with him," Bertram said.
Today, Bertram said he is both sad at the loss of his friend, and angry because it was something that should never have happened.
"Can't listen to him laugh. Can't look on Facebook and see the funny stuff he posted," Bertram said of missing his friend.
Person of interest
On Sunday, Cory Lee Henderson, 31, and an unidentified woman were in a vehicle that ran a red light and smashed into another vehicle at the intersection of 2160 E. 4500 South in Holladay. Henderson and the woman, described by witnesses as having blonde hair, were seen leaving the scene together.
But at some point the two became separated. Witnesses said the woman appeared to be stumbling as if she was injured.
Salt Lake police, who had been looking for the woman, interviewed her on Monday. Sgt. Robin Heiden said she did not know if the woman turned herself in or if investigators located her.
After questioning the woman, she was released without being arrested. But Salt Lake police investigators remained tight-lipped Tuesday about what the woman may have told them, why she was released or if she could be charged with a crime at a later time.
As the investigation into retracing Henderson's steps continued Tuesday, other questions remained unanswered such as: Where did Henderson, a person restricted from having weapons, obtain his handgun? Was Henderson, who had a history of drug-related offenses, using any substances when he shot Barney once in the head before the officer had even removed his gun from his holster?
Henderson's mother on Monday said she doesn't want her son to be remembered as a "horrible person" or a "cop killer."
"He was just a scared kid in a big boy's body," Holladay said. "He never had a chance to grow up the right way."
Holladay also brought up a violent episode from her own past Sunday, shortly after learning that her son had been killed.
"I accidentally shot my husband and I'm wondering if this is God's vengeance on my family," she told the Deseret News.3 comments on this story
In 2001, Holladay shot and killed her ex-husband, Glen Snyder, 35, as he attempted to break into her Murray apartment. Investigators said he was breaking the front window, kicking the door off its hinges and screaming at the woman. The Salt Lake County Attorney's Office determined that the shooting was in self-defense and justified, and Holladay was never charged.
A vigil will be held to honor Barney Wednesday at Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East.
Accounts to help the Barney and Richey families with funeral and medical expenses have been set up at America First Credit Union under the Doug Barney Memorial Account and the Jon Richey Charitable Account. Donations can also be made by calling the bank at 1-800-999-3961.
Contributing: Mike Anderson, Ashley Moser, Jeff Allred