Officer William Buechner will be laid to rest on Friday at after 13 years with the Auburn Police Division.

Buechner, who Councilman Tommy Dawson, former police chief, said was fondly given the nickname pronounced "Beak," was killed last Sunday after responding to a domestic violence call at a residence on Wire Road.

Two others, officers Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliot, were wounded by gunfire on the scene. Elliot was released from the hospital the night of the shooting, and Sistrunk, after undergoing surgery, has been moved out of the ICU at Piedmont Regional Hospital in Columbus and is expected to make a full recovery.

Visitation for Buechner will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Auburn Arena on Friday, and the funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. A procession to Town Creek Cemetery will immediately follow the service.

At Tuesday's meeting of the Auburn City Council, Dawson remembered Buechner and encouraged community members to show support by lining the streets prior to the procession to see Buechner off in his "last ride."

The escort will leave the Arena and head toward the cemetery by way of Donahue Drive, Magnolia Avenue and Gay Street.

"I encourage you to tell your friends and neighbors and anyone else that could do it to come out and pay tribute to him as we drive by in his last ride," Dawson said.

He shared memories of Buechner, of working with him and of seeing him one last time in the hospital.

"I remember when officer Buechner was hired; we called him Beak. I was lieutenant, and he was in my shift for a while. He was an extremely kind and gentle man. I can never remember addressing him when he didn't have a smile on his face," Dawson said. "I got to see officer Beak one last time, somewhere you never want to see him, but I had to see him. Please keep his family in your prayers; please keep the police division in your prayers."

Flags throughout the state were lowered to half mast after Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide directive on Monday to honor Buechner. The directive is issued through Saturday.

Mayor Ron Anders also issued a statement to the grieving Auburn community. He asked for prayers for the Buechner family, the injured officers and for the Auburn Police Division.

"We have never before had to face the loss of a police officer in the line of duty," he said. "We honor officer Buechner's unwavering courage and that of his injured brothers in arms."

Anders also commended local law enforcement for initiating a massive search to arrest the shooter, Grady Wayne Wilkes, who was taken into custody and charged with capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and domestic violence.

Anders called on the community to heal together.

"I ask the community to come together to mourn and to heal. To come together to respect the privacy of these families as they do the same. To come together to be the Auburn family we have always been."

Buechner was a graduate of Auburn University and served the Auburn Police Division for 13 years.

For those wishing to help the Buechner family through donations, a William Buechner Memorial Fund has been set up at Auburn University Federal Credit Union.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.