DETROIT - Those who knew him struck a similar tone when coming up with words to describe the fallen officer.
Courageous, selfless, protector, leader.
For those who worked with and knew Officer Rasheen McClain, the counted him among the best. And on the day of his funeral, he earned one more title: Sergeant.
"He served the Detroit Police Department with dedication and valor for 16 years - and yes, an American hero that will never be forgotten," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
McClain, a corporal at the time of his shooting was posthumously promoted, a final honor given to the DPD veteran who was shot and killed when investigating a home invasion. Operating out of the city's 12th precinct and responding to a call on the city's west side on Nov. 20, he was targeted by JuJuan Parks, the 28-year-old suspect who has been charged with the officer's murder.
While the judicial process will take center stage in the coming weeks, Friday was spent remembering McClain for the work he conducted and the people he impacted.
"He was known to go above and beyond the call of duty to help members of this community and his fellow officers. To serve and protect was not just an oath to him, it was part of his character," said his aunt, Judy Washington.
The loyal officer took special pride in his mentoring of younger officers. He carried that sentiment until the day he died.
"He got on that porch with three younger officers, and he had the three younger officers stand behind him," said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Among other public officials that were present was Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, who spoke at the funeral, telling everyone the state of Michigan owes him a debt of gratitude for his service.