St. Joseph police officer killed 18 years ago - KMSP-TV

Slain St. Joseph officer's daughter: 'I didn't know him, but I still cry'

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ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (KMSP) -

St. Joseph police officer Brian Klinefelter was shot and killed by one of three men who had just robbed a liquor store.

"It's hard to believe it is 18 years," said his dad, Dave Klinefelter.

"In the same token though it seems like it could be last week -- the memories are entrenched in our minds," says Klinefelter's mom, Lois Klinefelter.

Images of Klinefelter with his wife and their two month old daughter made headlines, and pulled at heartstrings across the state.

"Little things bring it up, cold weather, because it was 60 below the day of Brian's funeral," Lois Klinefelter said.

Today that two-month-old baby in the pictures is Klinefelter's 18-year-old daughter, Katelyn Tragiai. Katelyn's mom remarried and the family has worked to share as much as they can about the father was too young to remember.

"I just heard another story today that another officer told me the last memory she has of Klinefelter. She saw him at the grocery, and he was buying stuff for me. "

Almost immediately after his death, Klinefelter's father started a foundation offering scholarships to up and coming law enforcement students. This year the foundation expanded to include grants for troubled youth.

"I think he would be humbled by it," says his brother Jason Klinefelter. "I think he would be proud he continues to support law enforcement."

Meanwhile, Tragiai has found ways to cope in her own way, starting a Facebook page will with posts about her dad. She relies on others to learn about him and enjoys soaking in as many memories as she can.

"That's why I feel strange crying, I didn't' know him but I still cry."


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