Detroit — Glenn Doss Sr. stood upright in front of a packed church and thanked God for the time he got to spend with his slain son.
Doss, a Detroit police officer, was greeted with a standing ovation Friday at Greater Grace Temple when he was introduced during funeral services for his son, fellow Detroit Police Officer Glenn Doss Jr.
The younger Doss died Sunday at age 25 at Detroit Receiving Hospital after being shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call the previous Wednesday on the city’s east side.
“I’d like to thank God for the years I got to spend with my wonderful son,” Doss Sr. said. “He was a great guy. It was an honor to be his dad.”
Doss Sr. said the support he received in the wake of his son’s death has helped him deal with the pain.
“I never knew an iPhone could hold so many messages and voicemails,” he said. “Thanks to my DPD family, and to all the officers who were at the hospital to hold us up.”
Doss concluded his remarks by singing what he said was his son’s favorite song: “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr.
The city of Detroit arranged private funding to cover Doss’ funeral and let the monies raised by way of a GoFundMe campaign be left for the family’s ongoing needs. As of Friday morning, that campaign had raised more than $50,000.
The city does not usually pay for Detroit officers who are killed in the line of duty.
When officers arrived at 5500 McDougall on Jan. 24, police say suspect Decharlos Brooks, 43, was outside of the home and allegedly fired at them. Doss was a passenger in one of the patrol vehicles.
His partner, Officer Samuel Anderson, notified other officers about the ambush on the police radio, then drove Doss to the hospital — actions that police chief James Craig said likely prevented further tragedy.
“(Anderson) may have saved the lives of six additional officers who responded and took fire,” Craig said.
The chief saluted the fallen officer for his dedication to his duties.
“Today is the celebration of a true American hero,” Craig said. “This is what we sign up for. We protect. We serve. And in the face of danger, we act ... he not only served the residents of this city with tremendous tenacity, he served his fellow officers.”
Mayor Mike Duggan said during Friday’s service that Doss was “a humble, hardworking young man. He just wanted to make Detroit a better place. That’s why he got up in the morning.
“Detroit is a better place today because of Officer Glenn Doss,” Duggan said.
The mayor also said to the victim’s father: “I think you may be the strongest man I have ever met in my entire life.” The statement prompted rousing applause and a standing ovation.
Gov. Rick Snyder called on the police officers in the church to continue Doss’ attempts to improve his community.
“He was making the world a better place,” the governor said. “We can’t let him down.”
According to his obituary, Doss was raised in Detroit and Shelby Township, and attended Utica High School, where he played football and basketball, and ran track.
After graduating from high school in 2011, he graduated from an undisclosed college in Grand Rapids before following in his father’s footsteps and joining the police department.
“This was his life,” said Greater Grace Bishop Charles H. Ellis III during the eulogy. “He did not get drafted into this.
“This is not Hollywood,” Ellis said. “This is the real deal, and sometimes you don’t get to go home. This young man gave everything he could. He was not a superhero, because superheroes never die. He was a real-life hero.”
In addition to his father, survivors include his nine-month-old son, Eli; mother, Nikole Flowers; stepfather, Ronald Flowers; and brothers Ronald, Glenn and Delonte.
Funeral arrangements were handled by O.H. Pye III Funeral Home in Detroit. Burial was in Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.