Hundreds Attend Viewing For Slain Scranton Police Officer

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SCRANTON -- It was a somber day in Lackawanna County where hundreds came out to Scranton to pay their final respects to a Scranton police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

The viewing for Officer John Wilding was held Thursday at Lackawanna College.

Hundreds of mourners came to Lackawanna College to say farewell to a fallen Scranton police officer.

The viewing for Officer John Wilding was held at the theater inside the college and throughout the day, people came out to pay their final respects.

Kristen Thompson worked with Wilding when he was employed at Saint Joseph's Center.

“He would help anybody do anything, if they asked him to. I mean, he was just doing his job,” said Thompson.

Wilding died after falling 15 feet while chasing three teenagers suspected of trying to rob someone at gunpoint in West Scranton over the weekend.

The three teens were arrested and may be charged with felony murder for Wilding's death.

Law enforcement officers from all over the state came to honor their brother in blue.

A large group of state troopers was lead into the college by the wife of slain State Police Corporal Brian Dickson.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane says it pains her to lose an officer in her home city.

“I’ve worked with the Scranton police for so many years when I was an assistant district attorney here,” said Kane. “These men and woman put their uniforms on every single day and they protect my kids and our families and our communities and it's sad to see that this tragic end.”

“It's a very sad day for our city. This is the second time to deliver a condolence resolution to a widow of a fallen police officer,” said Senator John Blake, a democrat serving the state’s 22nd District, including Lackawanna County.

The American Red Cross provided relief services with cooling stations and grief counseling stations.

“They have a lot of the cadets from Lackawanna College here who are providing security and traffic detail and stuff,” said Dave Skutnik with the Red Cross. “They've been out here all afternoon so just making sure they have plenty of cool water to drink.”

“We do have a couple of our mental health volunteer specialists with us that are here just in case anyone needs a shoulder to cry on,” said Skutnik.

The funeral for Officer Wilding will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Saint Peter's Cathedral.

WNEP will carry the funeral live on WNEP2.

WNEP2 can be found on the following cable providers:

Comcast - Ch. 243
Blue Ridge - Ch. 131
Adams - Ch. 17
Metrocast - Ch. 124
Service Electric -
Ch. 14 (Bloomsburg,) Ch. 90 (Wilkes-Barre,) Ch. 96 (Hazleton)

The service will also stream on wnep.com

5 comments

  • Gigi

    The teens were committing a felony so anyone who is harmed during their crime they can be charged with that as well. I think the one who is guilty in all of this is judge Corbett who has allowed these kids to roam free time and time again for the same crimes. They were just caught stealing a car not even a month ago. She should resign!!

  • BrianGriffin

    I thought his injuries were accidental, was there a part of the story I missed where the teens came back and caused injury to the officerr? I think the teens should be charged with robbery, attempted robbery, etc, but wouldn’t think his tragic death is something that they could be charged with.

    • ErDoc1738

      Because he died as a result of their (teens) felony crime (he was chasing them) they are responsible even if not directly. Basically had they not committed the felony he would presumably still be alive. Rule also applies to if you and buddies rob a house with guns, owner finds and kills one fearing for their life. The other robbery participants will be charged with murder for taking over in a felony which resulted in someone’s death.

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