Fallen officer remembered 25 years later

A large group of family, friends, community members and officers gathered at the Bremen Cemetery Sunday evening to remember a Nappanee officer killed in the line of duty 25 years ago.

Sunday night, many spoke out and honored the fallen hero who made such a large impact.

"It’s really hard to describe him, but he was really just one awesome man,” says Butch's Wife Marah Lee Nine. “A great husband a great father."

Nappanee Sergeant Brant "Butch" Nine responded to a report of an individual passing a bad check inside a jewelry store on November 3, 1988.

Butch attempted to arrest the suspect, but was shot in the chest and killed.

Twenty years later, his death still hits close to home.

"We've managed to remember him on this day for 25 years and I think that's pretty special," says Nappanee Mayor Larry Thompson.

Sunday night was the final celebration and remembrance of life ceremony for Officer Nine at the Bremen Cemetery.

"A lot of people that we knew 25 years ago are gone,” explains Marah. “The officers with butch have all retired now. It's a whole new crew and I felt it was the right time."

But, his memory and character carries on.

"That we might forget but Nappanee is the type of community that will never ever forget Butch Nine,” says Mayor Thompson. “Some of the things that we've put in place there will protect that memory I think forever. Lovable, he was a teddy bear, just an absolute teddy bear."

Memories of a man that everyone loved and will never forget.

"Butch was a special guy and those of us around him will never forget Butch Nine,” says Marah. “There was too many reminders and we're just going to keep on remembering.”

The suspect, Michael Steele, was sentenced to 60 years for murder, and 50 years for attempted murder. He was denied parole in 2009.

Officer Nine served Nappanee for more than six years.

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