NANTICOKE– While investigators have not identified the person who killed corrections officer Eric Williams at the U.S. Penitentiary at Caanan in Wayne County, on Saturday he was honored at a funeral mass at Holy Trinity Church in Nanticoke.
From United States Attorney General Erick Holder, to guards from Rikers Island, the streets around the church were filled with friends, family, and brothers in law enforcement.
“I can’t believe this has happened nobody deserved something like this,” says Melanie Ostashev, a cousin.
Williams, 34, started out as a Wegmans security guard, then became a police officer in Jefferson Township, before getting his job at the prison.
Along the way he made countless friends.
Lindsay Stackhouse dated Williams for a time, and on Saturday delivered a heartfelt eulogy describing his feelings for his parents and siblings. She recalled how they first met.
“Our eyes caught each other across the room, we talked after that, we have beautiful memories together. ”
Williams was also remembered as a hunter, fisher, and Seatlle Seahawks superfan, with a gift for cheering people up.
“He was very funny. Always cracking jokes and a happy individual,”added Ostashev.
During the mass United States Attorney General read a letter of condolence from President Barak Obama.
He also told the packed church that he was making a personal pledge and promise in Williams’ name to do everything he could to prevent this from happening again.
Some corrections officers who traveled to Luzerne County Saturday say they’re so close because their work in not well understood by the public.
Officer Nishaun McCall who works at Rikers Island in New York City says,”We do a very dangerous job, most of the time we are like unsung heroes, but when something like this happens we tend to come together.”