Officer Brewer’s funeral draws crowd of thousands

Photo courtesy of Facebook | William Brewer was born Jan. 14, 1977. He was a presenter of the Reds Rookie Success League. He grew up in Williamsburg, Ohio, and was a 1996 graduate of Williamsburg High School. He was a successful high school athlete and is showcased in the sports hall of fame there. He will be remembered as someone who was enthusiastic for his family, fellow officers and friends. Brewer was beloved by the community. His end of watch took place on Feb. 9.

On Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. authorities in Clermont County responded to a psychiatric call at Royal Oak Apartments. This is roughly a 30 minute drive from Xavier’s Campus.

Originally, a 911 call was received from a man claiming someone was in his apartment who refused to leave. The caller also reported that the man was suicidal and armed. Initial responders were unable to make contact with the caller.

The suspect barricaded himself inside his apartment. After shots fired were reported, responding officers were prompted to enter the building. First responders attempted to negotiate with the (allegedly) suicidal suspect.

At around 10:37 p.m., two hours into the standoff, two officers were shot through a wall when they tried to enter the premises to assist the man. The incident lasted a total of 12 hours. The suspect was apprehended after he left the building because of a fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be announced.

According to Pierce Township Police, all shots were fired from the suspect. Officers did not return fire.

Deputy Bill Brewer, 42, was fatally wounded. Lieutenant Nick DeRose was also shot, but he has since been released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Wade Edward Winn. He is accused of luring police officers with suicidal threats and fatally shooting a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another. Winn is currently facing charges of attempted aggravated murder and aggravated murder.His bail is set at $10 million. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Brewer’s death was the fifth officer casualty in Ohio this year. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered that public flags be lowered at half-mast on Sunday in honor of the slain officer. The flags in front of the Cintas Center were lowered accordingly.

Brewer was a 20-year-veteran of the Clermont County Sheriffs Office. He was beloved by the community. He left behind his wife Jamie and their 5-year-old son Braxton.

Thousands of people gathered to pay respects to the fallen deputy last Friday. A 603 car procession carried Brewer’s body to his final resting place in the Pierce Township Cemetery. Hundreds of people lined the streets from the church to the cemetery thanking the deputy for his service to the community. People held signs and flags to support Brewer.

His final ride was on a caisson, pulled by a symbolic riderless horse. This was followed by a 21 gun salute, taps, and helicopter flyover.

Brewer received his final radio call. When no response was received from the officer, he earned his end of watch call. This is a common and emotional farewell to fallen officers. He was laid to rest with full honors.

Clermont County Sheriff Robert Leahy spoke at Brewer’s funeral. He said, “Bill gave his life as he lived it, a hero.” Leahy was on the verge of tears while he spoke.

He, as well as fellow officers and members of the community were left devastated by the loss. “Bill laid down his life in a supreme act of devotion to those most precious to him,” Leahy said.

Junior occupational therapy major Katy Orleck lives “10 minutes from where the standoff took place.” She didn’t know deputy Brewer personally but said that “the community is remembering Bill and his family through this terrible time.”

By: Sierra Ross | Staff Writer