By Rebecca Sheir
One week after a Maryland state trooper was shot and killed outside a restaurant in Prince Georges County, thousands of relatives and friends are paying their respects at his wake.
Friends and loved ones remember 24-year-old Wesley Brown as a respected leader, especially for the boys he mentored.
Standing outside Abbysinia Baptist Church with a faraway look in his eye, Office Christopher Bell of Washington Hospital Center Police says Wesley Brown will be missed.
"We were great friends, accomplices, you know, we worked together on several security jobs," he says. "He was a great, great person. He gave back to the community."
Brown was the founder of a youth-mentoring group called Young Men Enlightening Younger Men.
To help fund the group, he'd been moonlighting as a part-time security guard at an Applebees in Forestville. That's where he was shot last Friday.
Lieutenant Mark Darby commands the Forestville Barracks where Wesley Brown was stationed. Darby says the day Brown was killed, he was supposed to take 15 young men on their first trip to New York City.
Brown was supposed to "expose them to cultures that they don't see locally," he says. "And he was going to pay for that out of his own pocket. It says a lot for a 24-year-old trooper, out here working secondary employment, spending his own money to mentor young kids in his neighborhood, where he grew up."
Brown's funeral will be held Saturday morning, at Jericho City of Praise in Landover. Darby and Brown are among hundreds of law-enforcement officials expected to take part in a procession past the Forestville Barracks to Lincoln Memorial Cemetery.