Kristofer Gagliardi (Family photo)
COPPERAS COVE (February 9)--A week ago, Kristofer Gagliardi, 24, died after he was shot in the chest in front of him home by a Copperas Cover police officer.
On Saturday, a wake was held at the Affordable Burial and Crematory Services Funeral home in Killeen. Friends and family gathered paid their respects for Gagliardi as he lay in a his partially closed coffin.
Family members say they are thankful for the outpouring of support from the community and the City of Killeen, where Gagliardi worked. They also say its hard to understand what happened as the investigation continues into the shooting.
"The way we have to do it, under these circumstances of how he died," said Joshua Gagliardi, Kristofer's brother. "Us being here is the best thing that we can do for him to show him that we truly did love him."
Joshua said that they plan to cremate Kristofer and put in three different urns for him, his mother and aunt.
They will also have three necklaces made so they can keep Kristofer close to their hearts.
"It was very hard having to come and join together knowing the circumstances of how he died," said Joshua. "Us being here in the thing that we can do for him to shown him that we truly love him."
Joshua says that is it hard for him to accept that Kristofer is gone and that his death hasn't fully hit him yet. "when I look at him laying there (in the coffin), it just doesn't look like by brother," said Joshua. "It hurts, but I don't know how to deal with it."
The same feelings resonated from Kristofer's mother, Dawn Prewitt.
"How am I supposed to feel? Just last week he was there and how he is gone. How is a mother supposed to deal with a tragedy like that? An unjustly shooting and a loss of life... He had his whole life ahead of him... How can you deal with that?"
Prewitt said she went home the other day, for the first time since the shooting, put on one of Kristofer's jackets and watched his favorite movie. "I'm just surrounded by him and all of his things," said Prewitt as she wiped away tears. "His memories are all around and it is just really difficult to know he is gone."
Texas Rangers are waiting for the ballistics report to come back as they investigate the shooting.