Las Vegas officer remembered by thousands at vigil as a 'great American'

A former Army veteran and police officer killed in Sunday's Las Vegas shooting was honored by thousands Thursday night as friends and colleagues hailed Charleston Hartfield as one of the “greatest” Americans they ever knew.

Hartfield, a 16-year Army veteran who served in Iraq, was known as "Charles," ''Chuck" and "ChuckyHart," but one longtime friend and colleague dubbed him "Captain America."

"Charlie Hartfield was the greatest American I have ever known," Sgt. Ryan Fryman told the crowd in Las Vegas, who raised candles and surrounded Hartfield’s widow and two children.

Hartfield was among the first memorials for the dead, whose identities have now all been released by authorities.


The 58 victims killed ranged in ages from 20 to 67. Two of them, 24-year-old Austin Cooper Meyer and 61-year-old Brett Schwanbeck, had not been identified before the Clark County Coroner released a complete list Thursday night.

Hartfield joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2002 after serving as part of the 82nd Airborne Division, KVVU reported.

The vigil began with a color guard display and words from a chaplain. Mrs. Veronica Hartfield and her two sons, a boy and a girl, sat in the front row. She didn’t speak during the ceremony but officers gave their condolences and praised the life and work ethic of her husband.

"Charlie was the hardest working man I've ever known. He did this for his family," a Metro officer said, according to KVVU.


Another officer said, “faith and family were the most important to Charlie.”

Both Hartfields were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, but only Veronica managed to escape unharmed.

"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave,” an officer said, reading a quote from Calvin Coolidge chosen by Hartfield to honor fallen colleagues.

One of his fellow officers, Jake Grunwald, has set up a GoFundMe page for Hartfield’s family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.