Officer Truong Thai was killed Oct. 13 after responding to a domestic disturbance near South University Center Drive and East Flamingo Road.
Slain Las Vegas police officer Truong Thai was described as “the best of the best” in his funeral Friday morning in Henderson.
Before the service, a procession from Palm Mortuary at 1325 N. Main St. traveled down the Las Vegas Strip and through parts of the resort corridor before ending at Central Church, a megachurch on New Beginnings Drive in Henderson.
The casket was carried into the church at about 10:30 a.m., with his grieving family members walking silently behind it as hundreds of officers from across the Las Vegas Valley and around the country formed an honor guard.
Thai was slain in the line of duty on Oct. 13. After responding to a domestic disturbance call with other officers on East Flamingo Road near South University Center Drive, police say that Tyson Hampton, 24, fired at the officers with an AK-47 pistol, striking Thai.
Thai was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he died from a gunshot wound to the torso. He was 49.
Pastor Michael Kitchen began the services with some words about Thai before reading the 23rd psalm.
“We lost a father, brother, uncle, son, mentor and community hero,” Kitchen said. “Thai was the best of the best. He dedicated his entirely life to serving and protecting this community.”
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Greg Hilton also spoke, shared memories of his friend. Hilton recalled Thai being at his house last Christmas. When Hilton’s kids got an air hockey table for Christmas, the kids had Thai play a few games with them. Soon, Thai was coaching the kids.
“This was Thai to the core,” Hilton said. “Always trying to help.”
But Thai wasn’t great at all things, Hilton joked.
“Fishing was probably one of the only things Thai was terrible at,” Hilton said. He talked of fishing trips they went on together, dinners they shared, and just good, funny memories.
“This has been a very hard few weeks,” Hilton said.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Thai “was a helper and a hero to the end because after Thai was shot, he managed to return fire while lying on the ground.
“Thai did not back down in the face of danger.” Lombardo said. “Even when he was mortally wounded, he fired five rounds at the suspect.”
Lombardo also pointed out former Sheriff Jerry Keller, who was seated near Thai’s family. Keller pinned Thai’s badge on him when Thai joined the department in 1999, Lombardo said.
Janet Thai, his niece, also spoke about her uncle and what it was like growing up with Uncle Thai. After she joined the United States Marines and then became a law enforcement officer in New Jersey, she said the lessons of courage and commitment that she would need in those roles had already been taught to her by her uncle “because he embodied them,” Janet Thai said.
“He loved his family. All of us. Metro. The Asian community. The city of Las Vegas,” Janet Thai said. “He was proud to dutifully and honorably serve even to the very end. And even in death he continues to teach us. He would want us to come together, lean on and be kind to each other, as he always has.”
Thuong Thai, Thai’s younger brother, said his brother was never one for fame or fortune. Rather, he preferred service to others.
“If I had to describe him in one word, I would say ‘selfless,’” Thuong Thai said.
The casket of slain @LVMPD Officer Truong Thai is carried into Central Church in Henderson, with his family following behind it https://t.co/HVQ5duXswP pic.twitter.com/wQKkwFZYUC
— Brett Clarkson (@BrettClarkson_) October 28, 2022
A viewing was held Thursday evening at King David Memorial Chapel, 2697 E. Eldorado Lane.
Hampton faces 28 counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, discharging a firearm at a vehicle, battery resulting in domestic violence and 18 counts of discharging a firearm within a vehicle.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Brett Clarkson at email@example.com or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.