LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com AP) -- A 31-year-old man hailed as a hero for dying while trying to stop a shooting rampage two weeks ago received police honors today at his funeral.
About 400 people attended services for Joseph Wilcox at Palm Downtown Mortuary on Main Street.
Ward 3 City Councilman Bob Coffin awarded Wilcox's family the city's Medal of Valor, while Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie praised his actions of June 8, saying, "Joseph Wilcox not only helped my officers, he helped other citizens that day."
The sheriff presented the American flag to Wilcox's mother, and Metro police escorted the hearse after the funeral. It is believed to be the first time Metro has honored a civilian in such a manner.
A statement from the Wilcox family read:
"On behalf of our entire family, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us during this extremely difficult time. The day we lost Joseph, our lives changed forever.
"Each day is difficult; but the overwhelming love, words of encouragement, and financial support you have graciously given us, has made this life-changing moment a little less difficult. In this time of sadness, we have met so many great members of the community and emergency responders who have shown us compassion that is beyond words.
"Our hearts ache, but we are not alone – our thoughts are with the family and friends of Officer Beck and Officer Soldo as they, too, try to continue their lives without their loved ones."
In the June 8 shooting, Wilcox went for his own legal, concealed handgun after the assailants killed Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck at a nearby pizza shop and walked into a Walmart, fired a shot in the air, and declared the start of a revolution.
Police say Wilcox moved toward one assailant, but never fired a shot before the other shot him dead.
Beck and Soldo were buried last week with full Metro honors.
The couple who started the "revolution" were Jerad and Amanda Miller. He was killed by a Metro officer and she killed herself in a shootout in the rear of the Walmart store.