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Local service to be held for slain trooper

Funeral services for fallen New York State Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 2, at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Brinkerhoff was killed Wednesday, April 25, outside a farmhouse in Margaretville, Delaware County, while searching for 23-year-old shooting suspect Travis D. Trim.

Trim was hiding out in the secluded property after shooting another state trooper, Matthew Gombosi, the day before.

Services are being held in Bethlehem because Brinkerhoff briefly lived in the town and was a member of the Lutheran Church.

He lived on Kenwood Avenue and was married in Bethlehem, said town Supervisor Jack Cunningham, who was alerted late Thursday, April 26, that Brinkerhoff's funeral would be in Bethlehem.

About 8,000 people are expected to attend the funeral, including Gov. Eliot Spitzer and police officers from the state.

Burial for Brinkerhoff will be held immediately following the funeral in the village of Coxsackie at St. Mary's Cemetery.

"It's been sobering; I can't believe it," Cunningham said of the tragedy that left Brinkerhoff dead.

Brinkerhoff is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his 7-month-old daughter. He and his family had been parishioners of Bethlehem Lutheran Church for nearly four years and even attended services the Sunday before his death.

"My wife said that she will never forget him looking at his daughter in church and just beaming," said the Rev. Mark Mueller, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran, who also baptized Brinkerhoff's 7-month-old daughter.

"He wanted to be connected to a church, and they were here quite regularly," said Mueller.

Brinkerhoff's connection to the Lutheran church began in his childhood in western New York.

"His faith was very important to him," said Mueller. "He loved to worship here and loved the people here."

Members of the Bethlehem Police Department knew Brinkerhoff well. Some even attended his wedding at Bethlehem Lutheran. Mueller said Brinkerhoff's wife is doing her best to cope with the tragedy.

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