Remembering Officer Glen Gaspar: 10 years later

Remembering Officer Glen Gaspar: 10 years later

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 87-year-old Gilbert Gaspar can't clearly recall how it all ended, but he does remember how it began.

"The brother was a cop up in Kona – so he wanted to be one too," said Gaspar.  "I felt good, because he's that kind of boy, you know, when he do anything—he go all out. Be a cop—he went all out."

Gilbert's youngest son, Officer Glen Gaspar, was killed in the line of duty ten years ago. He was gunned down approaching a wanted suspect at a Baskin-Robbins in Kapolei. According to the Department, he protected lives by wrestling the gunman to the ground. He paid for his bravery with his life.

"I know that day, when I got that call—I know I wanted to cry. I wanted to just break out," said Gilbert.

Like the photos filling the family's living room, Gaspar's memory is beginning to fade. That's not the case for his granddaughters, who were 11 and 13-years-old when their father died.

"It was our first basketball game of the season," recalled Kiana Gaspar.  "I remember warming up for the game and noticing that no one was there."

Her little sister Taysia's memory is equally clear, though her understanding of the situation was not. "For a long time, I didn't know he was gone—until probably the next couple days, when he didn't come home."

A decade later, they have daughters of their own—who they tell about their Papa Glen.

"She knows who he is. She likes to ask about him," said Kiana, smiling down at her daughter, who turns three later this month. "It's hard to tell her why we're sad," Kiana explained, wiping away tears.

"I had a dream about him the other night – it's the first time I've dreamt about him in years, I think," said Taysia. "He told me that he'd always be around to protect [my daughter] when nobody else can."

Officer Gaspar's daughters are 21 and 23-years-old now, both engaged and hopeful they're keeping their father's memory alive.

"I love them for two," said the girls' mother, Renee Gaspar.  "They know that he'd be super, super proud of them and that's the most important thing."

"Ten years ago, this community lost a hero, and a family lost their dad and son, when Officer Glen Gaspar was killed while apprehending a suspect," said Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha in a written statement.  "The investigation following the shooting taught us valuable lessons to increase the protection for our officers.  In addition to requiring that officers wear their protective vests, the department also increased the use of threat assessments.  Both changes are practices that are still followed today."

The Honolulu Police department and the community may have lost an officer, but the Gaspar's lost so much more.

"I had three sons, now I get only one," said Gilbert, with the heartache that only a parent who's had to bury a child can know.

"I don't think it gets easier, but it gets a little better," said Kiana, before adding, "Just trying to remember the good times, instead of him not being here."

Taysia agrees. "I just want him to be remembered. Period. It's been ten years and people still remember—it's a comforting feeling that we're not the only ones."

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