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Friends, family share memories at visitation for fallen Officer John Hetland

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KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A public visitation for fallen Racine police officer John Hetland was held Tuesday at the Carthage College chapel in Kenosha.

Dozens of uniformed officers and civilians were seen going in and out, including Hetland's cousin, Gary.

Gary remembered his cousin as a sports fan, family man, and outdoorsman, with all three frequently blending together.

"He was a great hunter and a great fisherman," Gary Hetland said. "He always took his son and daughter with him when he went fishing up in Vilas County."

Gary also says Hetland always told his wife he loved her before he left.

Hetland died protecting the city he was raised in, worked in, and loved.

The off-duty officer tried to stop an armed robbery in Racine's Teezers Tavern.

"The guy was behind the bar and Johnny jumped over the bar, wrestled him to the ground," Gary said.

He says his cousin wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest and was fatally shot.

"I was very hurt about it, but at the same time, I was kind of glad because he was going to heaven," Gary said. "He did what he thought was best to do."

Across the street from the chapel Tuesday was a rock that's been on Carthage's campus for more than a century. It was painted blue with a black stripe in Hetland's memory, and it displayed his badge number.

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